How are you measuring your growth? 🚀

Alex Papageorge
24 replies
What are some KPI's you've used when launching to measure success, outside of monetary value or user numbers?


Alex Arevalo
@alex_papageorge User retention is king I would say when it comes to launching. User number growth is an ego metric but retention determines whether or not people are sticking to your application. When you start looking into retention you'll uncover churn and other useful metrics as well.
Varun Gandhi
@alex_papageorge @alex_arevalo Yes, retention is good but do not read too much too early into retention numbers. Actually, you can read but do not run after quick-fixing the numbers. At this stage - you don't even know what the product could be unless you do but that's rare. You only know what it is and whatever it needs a lot of work to get to PMF. Understand what's happening. Why is it happening? Read into ratings/reviews. Do qualitative analysis with UXCam You can understand engagement with: Avg time / session Avg sessions / user You can understand retention with: DAU: WAU: MAU Uninstalls % Guess at this stage, it's less about measuring success but building understanding. I hope it helps. We can talk further if you have any questions.
Alex Papageorge
Great insight guys! @alex_arevalo 💯 I actually don't think # of users is a great metric at all until you start reaching the thousands of users range. So you're right, user retention is absolutely king. I guess my question is more geared towards the discovery stage launch though vs your main product launch. With that in mind - Any further thoughts? @varun_gandhi Very good insight. I like the way you said "it's less about measuring success but building understanding". That feels like me right now. I have high level ideas that I'm going to test on launch 8/4 but I'm still working through lower level KPI's - Honestly, I know what I care about. But the value in this launch I feel is seeing what other people care about most (I don't matter). - Average time / session - Average session / user - Daily active users - Monthly active users Any other suggestions? Open to any and all 🙂 FROM ANYONE!
Jeffrey Erickson
@alex_arevalo @alex_papageorge I may be a little biased, but we use PMF as our top level metric at
Amy Tang
Hey @alex_papageorge - I think user engagement is super important for early products, so the KPIs you mentioned around avg sessions and durations are great. I would also throw out willingness from users to give feedback (filling out surveys or even chatting with you). If you have 10 people engaged with you to make your product better, it means that you're solving a problem they have, and that might be better than 50 people using your product and ignoring requests for feedback. Good luck with your launch!
Alex Arevalo
@alex_papageorge I would still say retention metrics are key in the discovery phase because any which way you put it, retention is just whether or not your application is hitting home. You can measure this in many different ways (surveys, returning user sessions, etc). For example, Dropbox did an initial survey of customers to determine the growth potential of their early phase tech. Users who responded to a question of "how disappointed would you be if Dropbox disappeared tomorrow", the answers were: Very disappointed Somewhat disappointed Not disappointed (it really isn't that useful) N/A (I no longer use the product) More than 40% responded "Very disappointed" and that was their early stage indicator. Figuring out retention in the early phase can be as simple as sending out a survey. Great article as well if you're interested:
Number of sales. So far for I've sold 13 copies.
Shraddha Srivastava
Andrew Chen has mentioned some great points (could be seen as KPIs) for product/market fit. If your product has achieved any one of them, you can be assured that your product is going to be fine. 1. Your product is sticky which means your Cohort Retention Curve is flattening 2. Your Power User Curve is smiling which means your users are engaged and they keep coming back on the product 3. You virality factor is more than 1.5 where your user becomes a source to touch your non-users 4. The ratio of Daily Active Users to Monthly Active Users > 0.5 which means your users have formed a habit of using your product almost on a daily basis 5. The daily user frequency at Day1, Day7 and Day30 > 60%, 30% and 15% respectively 6. The percentage of actives/registered > 25% 7. You have a great organic strategy to acquire new users which almost tends towards zero. This mean you drive > 60% of your traffic organically without any ads or paid promotions 8. For subscription-based businesses like SaaS, you have > 65% paid user retention on an annual basis 9. You have > 4X Annual Growth Rate (AGR) 10. Your revenue or activity expands on a per user basis over time which means your user is deeply engaged or has a habit to use your product
Devanand Premkumar
@shraddhasrivastava Great points and metrics. Easy to understand and highly useful and actionable information which makes this one as precious. Thank you for sharing this and I sure learnt something new today :)
Alexandra Cote
Perfect question! It also applies to measuring the growth of your brand/personal brand. Simply getting more mentions, links, and even requests for interviews/podcasts counts.
Alex Papageorge
@alexandra_m_co_e If you aren't measuring... You're doing something wrong!! That cold taste of constructive feedback is most 100% necessary :)
Eddie H.
During the discovery phase for me, it's whether or not the users that signed up use it the next day, next week, without us reminding them or urging them to use it. This tells me whether or not the product is hitting home with users or not.
Alex Papageorge
@eddieaich Good point. If someone truly likes it - They will use it often. User retention. Thanks Eddie!
Fritz Brumder
At the discovery phase, it can be product function validation. For example, the initial seed of an idea that got you started was a thought, vision, or thesis. There has to be something hard in the product creation that you need to prove. If you can bring that to life, find a customer that understands your vision, then deliver the experience, the experience drives growth. You grow in your understanding of the technology, the friction points in the process, and the customer journey to adopt it. I also agree with the more tangible retention comments from @alex_arevalo and @eddieaich
Alex Papageorge
@fritzly Thanks for saying this. You're right - The hypothesis. I really think the focus of the MVE (most valuable experience) is the most important at this stage, vs an MVP. Similar to the points of @alex_arevalo and @eddieaich retention is king.
Dinesh Thakur
I'm working on my product and it's under construction phase. Here are some of my parameters for measuring growth when your product is not even available for beta access. Writing one blog post in a week Participating in startup communities Writing copy for home and feature pages. Editing and rewriting I'm also hiring, so screening 2-3 candidates per week for the interview Please feel free to suggest all other things I need to do before the beta launch Cheers!
Fabian Maume
In validation face I'm not focusing that much on quantitative data. I get as much qualitative data as possible: - Schedule interviews with early users to check what they think of the product - Setup session recording tools like Smartlook to see how people interact with the page. Book one day in calender's to watch the recording. As I move from beta to a marketable product I start tracking: - Signup rate: this gives an idea of how well people can understand your value proposition. - Returning visitor rate: this is the first indicator you get about user retention. Without retention your product will fail on the ling run.