Every Critical Metric Needs a Counter Metric

Giff Constable management, metrics

The other day I tweeted, “Every critical metric at a company needs a counter-metric to prevent the wrong kind of optimization.” It got a reaction and I thought to expand on the topic. Have you seen any of these examples of metrics + reward systems gone awry? The marketing and demandgen teams are tasked with bringing on leads, so they …

Be Suspicious of Metrics

Giff Constable metrics

People love metrics. I love metrics. I love getting arguments out of opinion and into data. However, I’m also deeply suspicious of metrics, especially since I focus on new products and thus live in a world of constant change and evolution. Some points of discussion: New Employees I have new employees join and ask “what targets do I need to …

Choosing your most important metrics

Giff Constable metrics

Matt Meeker, co-founder of Meetup and now with Polaris running Dogpatch NYC, gave a Skillshare class tonight on metrics. He stressed the need to combine and balance quantitative data, qualitative sources and entrepreneurial gut/judgement. My favorite tidbit came when he was discussing how to prioritize your top metrics. His advice for picking your “driving metric”, as he called it, was …

Keeping It Simple: Unit Economics

Giff Constable metrics, startups

Back in November, I wrote about financial modeling and wanted to pick up the topic again. I think this is very important for lean startups.  A financial model focuses your brain on key goals and assumptions. It’s great to obsess over product-market fit, but you also need to take the time to make sure your economics are reasonable as well. …

Freemium Business Model Template

Giff Constable metrics, startups

Update: you can still download the model if you want and see if there are any pieces you can use, but I am working on a new version that is a little more cash-oriented. Right now, it isn’t explicitly modeling out annual subscriptions but rather averaging a monthly revenue level, and I think that should be fixed. Mark Suster of …

PC Game Digital Distribution Growth Strong

Giff Constable games, metrics

While the sales of new games in retail have struggled recently, Gamasutra recently reported that the digital download services continue to see strong growth: Valve’s Steam service revealed a 97% increase in download sales, year-over-year IGN’s own direct download service, Direct2Drive, has also surged year on year, according to the company, posting gains of 56% compared to twelve months previously. …

Links & Attention

Giff Constable metrics, social media

There have been a lot of posts around lately about whether blogging is dead, because short form is the new shiny. Of course, new media types never kill off old media types (or at least not quickly), but the topic is really moot because long form and short form are apples and oranges — two different value propositions. One thing …

U.S. Online Gaming Grows 22%

Giff Constable games, metrics

Conventional wisdom is that in down economies, entertainment is counter-cyclical.  In the console space, the sales of new games has come under pressure in the poor economy, but the sales of used games is way up as well as subscriptions to mail-based video game rental programs (see Nielsen report). Now Comscore has tallied up US visitors to online gaming sites …

Virtual world and social game ARPUs

Giff Constable metrics, social games, virtual worlds

Justin Smith had an interesting slide deck at the Social Games Summit where he shared his estimates for monthly ARPUs (average revenue per user): “good Facebook” – $0.30 – $0.40 “good MySpace” – $0.60 – $0.70 Some games can do much better. The Facebook game Battlestations shared some data in late 2008 where they appeared to have around a $1.00 …