There are a lot of possible ways to measure the success of a business. When we were just getting started, we struggled to boil it down to just a few simple things that really indicated how we were doing. After hearing about Dave McClure’s startup metrics we realized we weren’t the only ones with an idea like this, but it was still pretty difficult to actually do the measuring. We decided to focus on:

Acquisition
You acquire the user. For a SaaS product, this usually means a sign up.
Activation
The user uses your product, indicating a good first visit.
Retention
The user continues to use your product, indicating they like your product.
Referrals
The user likes your product so much he refers other new users.
Revenue
The user pays you.

It seems like a lot of businesses have a hard time measuring and visualizing these metrics so we made some software to make it incredibly easy to measure these things. While we garnered a lot of interest, it was mostly from people that lacked the technical capability to even install this much-simplified tool. We made the technical barrier as low as possible, but it was still too high for our non-technical customers.

While we ultimately shut Pirate Metrics down, we still assess the success of our products with these metrics. These days, we just use different tools to measure and understand them.

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