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Founder-superpower: Connect your numbers to the real world

In the startup world we are obsessed with numbers. You will find plenty of posts about it and I encourage you to read them. My favourites are Brad Feld’s reminder about re-budgeting or Fred Wilson’s focus on key metrics.

Numbers are the real life

As a founder it is important to find the key numbers that represent your business’ relationship to the real world. Daily active users is such a key number for me. A person spending a precious moment of their life to open our app is an incredibly personal decision. Similarly personal is a lead converting to a sales qualified lead. A buyer, a real human, decides to have a first date with you – one day becomes to Monday 2pm.

Reading hearts and minds at scale

As your business scales, the numbers will change. In the early days you’ll focus on your first customers and the business problem you solve ten times better than anybody else. As you hire your first employees, your focus shifts to empower them. With continued growth you develop a sense for aggregated numbers, representing entire segments like sales, marketing, customer success or the investor landscape.

Train your numbers-mind

For some of us, numbers come naturally. For most it requires practice. Find peers and likeminded people you trust to train your numbers-mind. Make it part of your dialogs with your leadership team, your board and your investors. Connecting your numbers to the real world needs to become your founder-superpower.

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