Nail your first metrics

When I was at Lyft the company was already a unicorn on its way to an IPO. Data was plentiful and KPIs were already established and cemented. As a stats geek, this was heaven. Dashboards everywhere with so much detail you could watch real life unfold in the numbers.

Early stage companies are not this data rich but nor should they be. Companies like Lyft and Uber have all the data, startups should only have the data they need.

When Trexity started we had no data displayed anywhere. Before we began creating dashboards and falling in love with vanity metrics, we needed to dig deep to understand what we should measure to get us focused.

Trexity is a data-rich company — we just needed to ask the right questions to surface the right data. This is trial and error mostly. We started with the obvious…how many deliveries we were completing every day. Seemed logical. We also started tracking our bookings and courier pay.

Then we let that sit for a while and started asking focused questions about what we needed to see that would make an impact on our merchant and courier experience. On our business.

We came up with 3 metrics:
1. Time to accept – how long it took for a courier to accept a delivery
2. Time to pick up – how long it took the courier to arrive at the pickup
3. Time to deliver – how long it took for the courier to deliver the package

These three metrics would govern our business. They were clearly focused on our customers experience and, to this day, give us insight on the health of our marketplace.

Time to accept (TTA) gives us a clear understanding of how our marketplace is balanced (i.e. do we have enough couriers on the platform).

Time to Pick Up (TTP) helps us understand the how efficient our planner is given the distribution of couriers vs merchants. This is our magic.

Time to deliver (TTD) is our gauge to how we are helping build our customers brand with their customers.

I cannot overstate the importance of getting to a point where your first data is helpful in focusing the entire company. Too much data is distracting. Too many data points will derail you. Your early team needs to be able to see how their work impacts the business and everyone needs to be talking about the same metrics.