ComputerA continuation of some of my favorite learnings as a student of Startup Institute:

Funnel Optimization

Sean Johnson. Holy moly, this guy was like a walking encyclopedia of marketing knowledge. We started talking about funnel optimization, but decided to cover his entire Kellogg course curriculum instead. Just page upon page upon page of incredibly useful stuff, but here’s some good nuggets.

Goal metrics for startups:

LTV (lifetime value) to CAC (customer acquisition cost) ratio: 3:1

Churn (percentage of customers who leave/stop using your service): 2-5%

MAU (monthly active users): 30% of all users

DAU (daily active users): 10% of all users

Concurrent (at any given time, % of users who are currently on/using service): 10%

Email open rate: 20-30%

Positioning Strategy

Another all-star instructor for this lesson – David Gardner from ColorJar. He started the lesson with a staggering statistic. 43,000 startups were launched last year. Let that sink in for a moment. Forty-three thousand businesses.

His second sentence was this: “You are not a unique and special little unicorn. Other people do what you do. Understand them, so you can then differentiate yourself.”

What David and his team does at ColorJar is so basic, but something so often overlooked – figuring out who you are and how to best position you in the marketplace.

He has a really great analogy for explaining why so many companies fail at this – using tennis balls. If I throw one tennis ball at you, you’re probably going to catch it, right? But what about if I throw three? You may catch one. You also may catch none. So many businesses want to be too many things to too many people – but try to boil what you do best down to one thing. Think of it this way: If you wanted somebody to describe your business to a friend in one sentence, what would they say? What would you want them to say?

And in addition to that, who are your customers, exactly? Build personas, actual characters for these people. What are their names? What do they look like? What do they do for a living? What are their days like? Understand them, and always leave them a spot at the boardroom table.