Last night at our summer party I was talking to a CEO and he was describing some early user data. He was really excited, but not about the results — about what he had learned about the economics of his business. He had found a single number in the equation of his unit economics that mattered the most and suddenly had a simple way to focus his efforts, shape his product and define success.
He had found his magic number.
As a founder, I found the hardest thing to do was focus. There was so much going on and unlike working at a company, when you are the CEO, everything feels like it needs your attention. It can be hard to edit the things you are working on and say no to the right things because you never know what effort will lead to that inflection point that changes the business.
When you find your magic number, you find clarity and focus. You become much more effective and drive the business forward.
For Facebook I have heard it was 8 friends — get someone to have 8 friends and their likelihood of churning dropped by a huge amount. Depending on your business this might be a conversion metric, maybe it is a sell through number, an engagement metric or a sales productivity measure. At any point in a company’s life, there is one number that matters most and you have to find it and focus on it to win.