Vanity metric hazards, plans for failure, Black Founders survey • ExamPaper

Few startups launch with a coherent content strategy.

In the beginning, every project is a sprint and there are times when a show for investors can be more important than actually serving your customers.

Blogs are a good example: Because they’re a cheap way to boost SEO, companies put them out and then use KPIs like time on site, pages per session, and social media likes to show how successful they’ve been.

“The truth is, vanity metrics don’t measure how engaged prospects are,” writes Christopher P. Willis, chief marketing and pipeline officer at Acrolinx.


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Relying on vanity stats is like attending a Little League awards dinner: everyone goes home a winner!

“They simply measure the relative popularity of your company. This makes measuring ROI difficult.”

Creating a consistent brand strategy is not a big investment, and creating a shared style guide for marketing, design and sales generates a positive ROI. With a content governance plan, any startup can track which offerings are most likely to convert new customers.

“The biggest benefit of this is content that inspires trust,” Willis writes.

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Ban vanity metrics from your startup’s pitch deck

Image of a young woman standing in front of a skyline with five stars above her head.

Image Credits: We are (Opens in a new window) /Getty Images

It’s legitimately nice to give your hard-working team goals to work on, but vanity stats (e.g. X email signups in Y days, 20% increase in retweets) are like a Little League awards dinner: everyone goes home a winner !

“The truth is investors know what traction looks like,” Haje Jan Kamps writes, meaning feel-good metrics have no place in a pitch deck.

“Don’t confuse fluffy numbers and vanity statistics with your go-to-market strategy.”

3 Black founders predict little will change in VC by 2023

Glass half full, half empty

Image Credits: tiphon images (Opens in a new window) /Getty Images

A rising tide lifts all boats, but when free-flowing venture capital begins to recede, the underrepresented founders are the first to stand on dry land.

Dominic-Madori Davis spoke to three Black founders to get their take on the current funding landscape and the issues that are top-of-mind for them as we enter the new year:

  • Vernon Coleman, Founder and CEO, Realtime
  • Sevetri Wilson, founder and CEO of Resilia
  • Abimbola Adebayo, Founder and CEO, Pinnu Analytics

The fundraising stages aren’t about dollar values ​​- they’re about risk

Image of a pink balloon floating over three spikes to represent risk.

Image Credits: Richard Druy (Opens in a new window) /Getty Images

Before approaching an investor, a founding team should have a clear idea of ​​how their planned company is going to make money.

And also: how it will lose money.

Investors are open to ideas, but because they view everything through a risk lens, entrepreneurs need to develop a holistic understanding of where it exists in their business.

“’For our company to be successful, these three things must be true’ is a powerful expression in the earliest stages of starting a business,” writes Haje Jan Kamps.

What does this mean for startups as IT spending is expected to rise in 2023?

Colorful image of people manipulating columns of a bar chart.

Image Credits: We are / Getty Images

The fact that so many CIOs and analysts believe IT spending will increase in 2023 may be good news for new SaaS companies hoping to weather this downturn, but “it’s not all rosy,” writes Ron Miller.

To make these predictions concrete, he interviewed several investors, industry watchers and CIOs to get their take on “what’s to come for start-ups in 2023”.

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