Work on your worst metric

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link

I was reminded of this idiom recently when working with the founder of one of our idea stage investments to establish a suite of metrics for his business. We came up with a list of about five (I think they were revenue, gross margin, growth rate, cost of customer acquisition, and repeat rates/life time value) and then he asked ‘which is the most important?’.

That caused me to pause and think for a while because they’re all important but knowing where to focus is essential to a CEO. Eventually I said ‘the most important metric is whichever is most in the toilet at any given moment’.

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.