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If you had to name one metric to measure startup success what would that be?

Regardless of the stage, the sector, or location.

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Roee Reshef
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Roee Reshef Entrepreneur
Founder & CEO at PickaJoy
People! the team is the #1 by far from all the rest.
Sourav Mukherjee
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Sourav Mukherjee Entrepreneur
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Ticket size per customer or order
David Brown
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David Brown Entrepreneur
Founder/Chairman at Live Functions Inc.
For a SAAS.. Churn rate.
David Austin
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David Austin Entrepreneur
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Rafael Lamardo Entrepreneur
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Sam McAfee
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It doesn't work that way.

In Lean Analytics, they talk about phases Empathy, Stickiness, Growth. Each phase requires a different metrics emphasis. Revenue doesn't make sense if you can't acquire customers. Referral metrics doesn't matter if you can't retain them. And so forth.

I like to merge "Pirate" metrics (AARRR) with the Lean Analytics phases thusly:

Empathy: Acquisition, Activation - Test with landing page conversions.
Stickiness: Activation, Retention - Test with weekly / monthly active use.
Growth: Referral - Test with shares, referrals, etc. (and is your CAC going down?)

Sorry to be blunt, but assuming there is a single metric that could matter regardless of stage is a misunderstanding of the use of metrics.
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