You have my permission to enjoy your vanity metrics.

I know I talk about valid metrics.  Ad nauseum. I won’t stop anytime soon – and seriously, you do need to get your act together.  That said, I empathize with where you are coming from.  So many numbers yet so little time!

 You have my permission to enjoy your vanity metrics. 

They feel good. When you’re winning, and they seem to scream SUCCESS! 

Getting more Twitter follows, higher site traffic, increasing revenue – focusing on whatever metric makes you feel better about the direction of your product, division, or company can be the little push that keeps you enthusiastic about your work.

I love my vanity metrics too: but this isn’t a “have your cake and eat it too” thing.  This is a “don’t eat cake when you’re dying of dehydration” thing.

So have fun and brag about them – to yourself.  Do not make any decisions based on them.  More importantly, as a leader, don’t let your followers waste time and energy justifying their decisions based on them.  

If you don’t know the one or two metrics that are an actionable, VALID, driver for hypothesis-based product innovation – find an expert who does.

“Managers who don’t know how to measure what they want settle for wanting what they can measure.” – Russell Ackoff

Photo via Luis Llerena

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