An open startups movement: growing together through transparency

8 out of 10 startups fail.

We've all heard this quote in some iteration or another. Though it may be more heresay than fact, the point remains that many entrepreneurs fail before they succeed.

They fail for a number of reasons. We don't aim to create yet another top 10 list enumerating the possible "why"s, but it is safe to say that an entrepreneur is more likely to succeed with subsequent ventures because of lessons learned from previous experience.

It's a matter of sample size really.

One of the most difficult competencies for an entrepreneur to develop is a sense for performance. Company A's 20,000 sessions with a 3% CMGR (Calculated Monthly Growth Rate [link to Ian's blog entry]) doesn't mean much until we see what these metrics look like for a batch of peers, Company B through Z. VC funds, for example, are able to have a high level grasp of this kind of performance and growth because they survey metrics for a range of businesses. That sample size gives them reference points for comparison.

With Startup Benchmarks, we aim to facilitate an emerging open startups trend that encourages growth through transparency.

A common knee-jerk reaction amongst new entrepreneurs is to treat a new startup or product idea like you would a nuclear warhead: guard it with your life, share it only with your most trusted inner circle, and make everybody who works on it sign an NDA.

But while guarding particular parts of IP is certainly important, there is much to gain from opening up performance statistics.

With metrics that are benchmarked, everybody comes out on top because you know where you currently stand, where you stood before, and what kinds of numbers you need to achieve to get into the upper echelon of performers in your industry.