, 17 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
Question on Quora: Which commonly-discussed growth metrics in consumer tech businesses are the most meaningless and/or misleading? Here's my thread 👇
1. Cumulative charts for anything. These can only go up and to the right
2. Registered users. Totally useless, although sometimes I like to ask about this as a ratio to active users to get a sense for how efficiently the user acquisition is happening
3. Any retention metrics that aren’t standardized into cohort curves. Sometimes people will give a single snapshot number, like a “3 months later, X% still use the app!” and that’s not that helpful
4. Install numbers, without signups or activated signups or something more meaningful
5. For marketplace companies, “revenue” that’s actually “gross bookings” or GMV. Or GMV that counts in weird things, like security deposits or one-time setup charges
6. ARR meaning, “annual revenue run rate” as opposed to “annual recurring revenue.” Please, let’s just stick to ARR for recurring, not run rate. Thanks.
7. Taking the peak revenue of any single day and annualizing it as the headline number
8. Unlabeled X and Y axes in charts
9. Cohort curves that are some complex subset of users that make the retention look better
10. Showing “CAC” that’s actually blended CAC, and when you just look at the Paid CAC, it’s way below LTV
11. LTV. Because who really cares about the lifetime of a user — startups should just manage to margin earned by a customer you acquire over the first 6–12 months, not the lifetime. That’s how you will make your ad spend decisions
12. Any misleading ratios where the denominator and numerator are totally non-obvious. Stick to actives, please.
13. Active user definitions that are complicated (must have visited 3 sessions in the last week, and done one action out of a list of 5). It makes all the downstream calcs on retention, engagement, etc misleading since you’re throwing away all the data for the less active users
14. If you have a desktop app, and web, and mobile, break down the metrics for all three. Don’t combine, please
There are many, many more… but that’s a quick start.
Any others want to chime in?? Original @Quora thread here -- thanks for hosting me for an AMA! quora.com/Which-commonly…
Missing some Tweet in this thread?
You can try to force a refresh.

Like this thread? Get email updates or save it to PDF!

Subscribe to Andrew Chen
Profile picture

Get real-time email alerts when new unrolls are available from this author!

This content may be removed anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Follow Us on Twitter!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!


This site is made by just three indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3.00/month or $30.00/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!