The Ultimate Guide to Startup Data Distribution

Mike Preuss

This post is excerpted from our first book, The Ultimate Guide to Startup Data Distribution. You can download the book for free and learn more about how other top companies are building and operating high-impact data distribution systems to keep everyone that matters engaged in the their business. Check out the other parts if you haven’t already:

  • Part 1. The Ultimate Guide to Startup Data Distribution

  • Part 4. ‘Steal’ the Right Metrics for Your Company (Coming Soon)

You can also find more on the topic of Startup Data Distribution here:

How do you tell your company’s story?

Being able to effectively tell your company’s story has never been more important. As a company grows, it acquires more stakeholders – employees, investors, advisors – who need to remain engaged in the business in order to play their role most effectively. When those different stakeholders are empowered with the right information, it leads to better communication between teams, more introductions from investors to potential customers or employees and an overall culture of transparency that endows a feeling of ownership that stretches beyond what shows up on a cap table.

What is Data Distribution?

Data Distribution describes the systems and processes a company has for gathering key performance metrics and getting them to the right people at the right time in order to support the company’s growth. How your company builds your specific data distribution philosophy centers around how you want to tell your company’s story and who you want to tell that story to.

In short, Data Distribution is how well your company turns this…

Into this…

Why is Data Distribution Important?

Taking a company from its first round of funding to ultimate success (define that how you will) is no easy task. Companies fail for a number of different reasons and one of the more inexcusable is a breakdown in communication between founding teams, CEOs and investors, or leaders of different teams within in organization.

Building a solid process for your company’s Data Distribution means professionalizing the way that you approach communication to your stakeholders. There is a responsibility that comes with deploying capital for others (often millions of dollars) and employing people (often dozens) to help build your vision. Marc Andreessen touched on this responsibility in a recent interview with Fortune’s Dan Primack.

How can I implement Data Distribution at my company?

The way that a company tracks and analyzes the key performance indicators around its product development and distribution as well as its customers and employees is key in determining whether its data distribution system will be effective and yield long term positive results.

Blake Koriath, CFO at SaaS-focused seed fund High Alpha, likes to start wide when working with companies, focusing first on business model and company stage, then digging into exactly who will be viewing specific metrics and when.

Once you understand this and are committed to the idea of building out a data gathering system, your next step is to actually select the full set of metrics that make sense for your company. This is where things can get complicated, as there are hundreds of metrics to choose from as well as different time frames to consider and different ways of calculating certain metrics. Additionally, the amount of data produced in a growing technology company can be overwhelming for teams and founders.

Luckily, many thorough frameworks – crafted through years of experience by top investors and founders – already exist and can give you a great baseline to work from, no matter your business model or stage (we dive in depth into many of them in the book).

Remember, as Pablo Picasso whose paintings even most VCs can’t afford is credited with saying, “great artists steal.”

Many thanks to Nick Podraza for the awesome image. Check out more of his stuff here.

Where can I learn more about Data Distribution?

We thought you might ask. To start, you can download The Ultimate Guide to Startup Data Distribution, the first book we’ve ever published here at Visible. The book contains 40 pages of tactical insight to help you and your team tell the story around your key performance data more effectively.

Get the Book for Free

After you’ve read the book, get in touch! We’d love not only your feedback but also to spend 10 or 15 minutes on the phone sharing some of our learnings and helping your company get set up with an effective Data Distribution process. Shoot us an email and we’ll get back to you asap to get something set up!