Some jobs lend themselves to hard metrics. Sales/biz dev is one such place. But a lot of roles don’t. A lot of my former roles were strategy or analysis driven and so there was no hard metric. It was always soft and intangible and relied on people’s impressions. ¬†When I worked in VC and corp dev, it was all about deals. It wasn’t explicitly but implicitly, you wanted to do deals in those roles. Sometimes, I think folks did bad deals just to make the deal count go from zero to 1. They’d never admit, but subconsciously, it happened.

Deals were sexy. Deals were good for your end of the year bonus. And by the time it was revealed to be a dud, you could blame it on someone else.

And that is the negative of metrics – they can drive the wrong strategy or behavior if they’re not properly focused.

I made this mistake recently with our content team. As I made the metric – # of posts.

That’s a terrible metric.

It says nothing about quality, leads generated, press mentions, social media attention, quality of leads.

And so optimizing for a suboptimal metric leads to suboptimal actions.

There is rarely if ever 1 metric that is perfect. The almighty God metric that Evan Williams recently talked about.

That said, I think a series of metrics in conjunction might work here. So we are going to try that.

I’m sure we will learn along the way.

Keep you posted.

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