One of the issues I see with so many startups is that the entrepreneurs use their staff headcount as a metric for growth and progress. They ask each other, how many employees they have, not how many customer they have. They talk about their growing headcount as if it was a proxy for growing success. It’s way too easy to hire people, especially if you have VC funding in the bank; hard to manage them productively and very hard to fire people. I know, I’ve been there and done that.
Employees are overhead; customers are revenue. Entrepreneurs need to focus on keeping cost down and driving customer acquisition and eventually revenue, up.
So develop your customer development metrics and use them to measure your growth and progress, whether it’s app downloads and usage or web site visits and time spent on site, these metrics are what are key in impressing investors, partners, job candidates, and yes, your fellow entrepreneurs and friends.