Finding Your North Star Metrics

Just like the North Star guided sailors, the North Star is that one metric that guides companies. Many companies like Airbnb, Facebook and even Whatsapp have defined their own “North Star” metric differently.

Example North Star Metrics:

  • Airbnb: Nights Booked
  • Facebook: Daily Active Users
  • Quora: Number of questions a user answers
  • WhatsApp: Number of messages a user sends

Looking at these examples, the most important metric they’ve chosen makes sense. Take Airbnb for example. Their goal is increasing the nights booked. While they could have picked a metric like daily active users, it really wouldn’t make sense when their main goal is getting customers to book rooms.

How To Determine Your North Star Metric

  1. The metric selected should align with an experience of your core product user.
  2. The metric should relate to a task completed / product engagement.
  3. An increase in this metric should improve the business and its core product.
  4. It should be easily understood and communicate.
  5. Having the perfect metric isn’t important. It could pivot overtime. The important thing is that it makes sense for the business.

Resources

The North Star Playbook – An eBook that will help you understand the purpose and value of the North Star Framework.

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