I am always on the lookout for good digital frameworks, especially when it comes to metrics, as they really help simplify the complexity of our modern business environment. Complexity can lead to infinite choice, which often leads to paralysis.
Dave McClure’s AARRR framework (or Startup Metrics for Pirates) is an excellent antidote to this situation. The following essay outlines it in detail.
This framework was originally created for startups. A startup is essentially a search for a repeatable and scalable business model, so testing a series of hypotheses about the various parts of the business. It needs to adapt over time, and tell if the business model is worth scaling into a company.
Established organisations already have a repeatable and profitable business model. Any business school will tell you that the numbers to track are Income Statements, Balance Sheets and Cash Flow Statements, however more and more as platforms are becoming the backbone of these organisations, adopting the startup mentality to product is increasingly worth paying attention to.
An example would be a large organisation switching to offer their product through a managed e-commerce website. Traditional activity switches from broad scale mass marketing to targeted and measurable activity on the platform, with new tactics required to evolve to shifting customer needs.
To this end, I’ll phrase this essay to be inclusive of both startups and established businesses who are managing a product - as a definition product will refer to any sort of digital platform (e.g e-commerce website, widget or service or sharing based platform).