The One Page Seed Stage Dashboard

I recently prepared this template for one of our portfolio companies and thought I’d share it. I’m a big fan of dashboards as a quick way to get a grasp on our companies. I believe all successful startups are data driven. So having a dashboard that everyone sees regularly keeps people focused.

This dashboard works for pre-revenue startups that are focused on building that initial user base. As a seed investor when we make an investment we do so with the following goals in mind:

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Stats are everyone’s business

When I joined my 1st startup (10 years ago next month – yikes!), we were in the business of selling software licenses. Companies placed orders, we shipped them, invoiced them and moved on. We didn’t really know if the company was having success with our software. Sure, we asked. But, we could not know for sure whether they were using our stuff.

In this era of hosted web services we can and should measure everything we can. We no longer have to rely on a customer or user telling us if they use our stuff. We know it because we can track detailed info about who the user is, how she uses the service, how you acquired that user, etc, etc.

Starting with stats

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Information: the decision-making oxygen for your business

In the movie Wall Street, Gordon Gekko gives one of several timeless speeches on the value of information – “the most valuable commodity I know”. I agree with him. When it comes to growing your business, information is vital oxygen that helps you ascend to great heights.

When I join a new startup, often they have poor or non-existent information systems. They may have some accountant who comes in once a month – probably 2 or 3 weeks after said month – and closes the books. Management reporting, if it exists at all, is minimal.

How can you build a business blindly? Gut instinct is great and irreplaceable, but it doesn’t scale across your entire team and it should be enhanced through timely delivery of the right management information.

At Mobivox, I moved quickly to implement, daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly reporting systems:

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