Whether you’re trying to grow to the next level or get your startup off the ground by reaching so-called product / market fit, you need clear objectives.
How clearly do you know what you’re trying to do next? Is your team aligned and pulling in the same direction? If you have investors, are they on-board?
Invented by Intel, used by Google, Uber and LinkedIn, OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) are a way to set and track objectives. Startups need OKRs just as much as big brands.
The idea is to set a handful of big hairy top-level objectives. Then define a few measurable ‘key results’ for each objective. And go…
Simon Whittick (VP Marketing at GeckoBoard) talks us through 6 tips to make OKRs work for us:
- Make your key results percentage growth, not actual numbers
- Set your OKRs quarterly
- Don’t set more than 4 objectives, as it dilutes focus
- Set 3–5 key results per objective
- Set aggressive goals
- Create buy-in through collaboration.
One Objective, But Which One?
It’s de rigueur in startup circles to set and focus on one metric that matters. But which one? There are compelling reasons for each of several key numbers. But, as Jason Cohen reminds, the trick is in picking the one that matters most right now. Which one is a leading indicator of progress towards our next most important milestone. Pick that for now and run with it. Until you don’t.
Understanding Your Customer
According to McKinsey, the better you understand your customer the better you will do. Duh! They reveal 5 effective research techniques to gain customer insights and boost growth: 1) Observe consumers ‘in the field’, 2) Digitize the daily diary, 3) Use advanced analytics to get much more granular insights, 4) Better listening and learning with social media, 5) Co-create with consumers on digital platforms.
Why Your Facebook Ads Aren’t Working
When people are on a social network they’re not in a buying mood. By contrast, it’s possible to pick up on people who are looking for a solution right now on Google. This is why social ads need to be treated completely differently to AdWords. Read or miss out.
Bootstrapped to $400 million
“Something in our gut always said that didn’t feel right.” ~ Ben Chestnut, MailChimp’s co-founder on VC funding. This marketing software company has 12 million small business customers and is on track to top revenues of $400 million in 2016. The cool thing is it’s done this without a penny of outside funding or spending more than it earned. This is a great story that proves VC funding is not always necessary. Inspiring.
Q3 ’16 Funding Down
The numbers are in. According to Mattermark, VC funding in US-based companies (Seed through Series H) for Q3 2016: ROUNDS DOWN 31% and DOLLARS DOWN 29%. Sign of the times?
Marc Andreessen on AI
Marc tells us why artificial intelligence (AI) is set to change the world. In this interview he talks about how AI is now hitting it stride. How startups that are built with AI from the ground-up will win: architecture not add-on feature. How startups will begin to challenge giant incumbents. How there are two types of industry now: 1) Those empowered by tech where productivity is rising and prices are falling, 2) And the rest where productivity is stagnant, cartels are rife and prices are rising. The latter which include education and health however are set for disruption. Ultimately Marc is optimistic…
Computer Says ‘Comply’
Banks spend about $270 billion a year on regulatory compliance. IBM have just acquired the world’s leading regulatory consultancy. They plan to infuse their AI engine IBM Watson with their formidable knowledge and expertise. Watson will then provide this expertise back the banks – as an AI service. Creepy or cool?
Social Networks Morph into Hives
Arjun Sethi and Andy Artz explain how social networks are fast becoming hives. Hives let us to communicate more often and with less friction. Case in point:Facebook gives us a way to connect, but Messenger helps us to communicate. They argue that unlike vanilla Facebook, Hive-like apps such as Facebook Messenger, WeChat and SnapChat today are moving toward a vision of the future around creating real, shared experiences that actually bring people together. Fascinating.
Please consider forwarding the BeyondFintech newsletter to a friend or colleague … thank you!