The Four Stages of Using Data to Manage your Startup

Stage 1: First principles >> data.

Stage 2: Deciding what to measure.

Stage 3: Data becomes a necessary BUT not sufficient tool.

  1. I say necessary but not sufficient, because there are things that you just can’t measure with an experiment dashboard — consumer trust, how consumers internalize your brand, how complex or heavy your product feels to a new user. A single experiment or new feature rarely move the needle on these critical assets by themselves, but the cumulative effect of a bunch of experiments or features can erode them over time if you’re not vigilant. e.g., https://twitter.com/chrismessina/status/1085995973753487360. So don’t forget your first principles, user research, and of course your own judgment. You need to always take a holistic view of your product, not the experiment you are measuring.
  2. There are some decisions (e.g., big strategic initiatives) where you need to be prepared to see the data, acknowledge it, and then discard it. Remember: Data is not a substitute for judgment or strategy.

Stage 4: System impact.

Closing.

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native new yorker, SF-resident. general partner @benchmark. formerly product @Pinterest. originally blogging at www.adventurista.com.

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Sarah Tavel

Sarah Tavel

native new yorker, SF-resident. general partner @benchmark. formerly product @Pinterest. originally blogging at www.adventurista.com.

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