2 min read

Strive for boolean values

Strive for boolean values

Life as a founder is complex.

We have to look at different dashboards every day to get a sense of how the business is going.

Then, when we are performing some tasks, we are probably working with at least a couple of online tools at the same time.

We need to use less dashboards and less tools in order not to add complexity to our daily work. But, this is not a blog post about minimalism.

Tools are just that, tools.. means to an end. The problem is how we set those up and more broadly, what type of activities we do.

It has occurred to me that we rarely optimize a tool or an activity to just return a boolean value. In programming, boolean variables are simple: they can either be 0 (false) or 1 (true).

The response from a tool is never black or white, though. We often get a lot of outputs from our tools which we might feel good about, but do not move our business forward.

For example, a social media tool can return social media shares or number of likes as outputs: “hey, thanks to our tool you got 33 shares and 1031 likes to this post”. That’s great, we might brag with friends about those metrics. But, if my primary metric is new sign-ups or new trials, those metrics don’t mean anything to me.

If all I really care about is sign-ups, all I want to know is: did that post brought new sign-ups? That’s a simple yes/no answer, and thereby, a boolean one.

The same concept can be applied to activities we do. Let’s compare marketing to sales, for example.

If we do marketing, let’s say Facebook ads, we might have tens of signals to watch: relevance score, impressions, CR, CTR, etc. All of those are worthless to me. The output could just be a new impression, or a new click or a new video view but remember, at the end of the day, I just want to know if someone signed up.

Compared that to sales. Sales is, actually, boolean. I can talk with someone in the support chart or on the phone and at the end of the conversation, only two things might happen: the prospect signs-up (1) or not (0). No companion likes, no worthless views, no greys. It’s black or white.

I feel like especially in the beginning, we should optimize for strong signals, ones and zeros, that can move us faster towards our objectives.

Wishing you many 1s!