Valuation, cash raised, being on the top of whatever lists, employing individuals for their clout, head-count, email subscribers, marketing budgets and stressing over likes and follower-ship are all examples of vanity metrics for startups.
Happy customers, good cash flow, conversion rate, growth rate, impact, and positive company culture are all common reality indicators for companies to measure.
Are you doing it because it truly matters, or are you doing it because it matters more to your image?
In business, there are vanity metrics and then there are sanity metrics to consider.
Vanity metrics are not reliable indicators of content because they can be gamed. Keeping a score is important, but the quality and substance of the score are importanter 🙂
Vanity metrics are chased and optimised since they are simple to monitor and they make us feel good.
We receive a dopamine boost when they rise, and we feel good about ourselves because we feel like we’re doing something right.
Authenticity can only be found when one can see beyond one’s vanity.
Identifying the games we don’t care about winning helps us identify the games worth playing.
The idea is to play hard in games that matter, not to win those that don’t.
By identifying the metrics we “don’t” value, we can focus on those that matter.