Course: Startup Customer Observation & Metrics

, Co-founder

This is an intermediate-level two-session course focusing on quantitative and qualitative metrics and observation methods that I introduce in my other course (Startups Unpugged). The goal will be to look at the world differently after you take this course -- both in the way you learn from potential users and also by analyzing data to uncover what’s going on beneath the surface.
A lot has been written about metrics for startups, but if you want to get familiar with different techniques and do real analysis with real numbers, take a look at this class. My expectation is that if you participate fully, it will be both challenging and rewarding and you’ll walk away with a group of other friends also running startups that you can continue to exchange ideas with. If you are unsure whether this course is for you, contact me at [email protected] and we can talk a bit and see. To learn about the experience of people who have taken my other course, check out some of the testimonials here: And yes, there will be homework.

Pre-work (before first in-person class):
- Readings: Will be sent out to attendees.
- Assignment: Fill out the Google Form here to describe your background and the issues you face.
- Discuss the above with Paul by email before the first in-person class. We do this in order to save time and so you get the most out of the in-person sessions.

Session 1, February 21st (in-person):
- Lecture Content: Specific tools to use to learn from potential customers and build that into your designs and business. Intro to Build-Measure-Learn, Customer Observation, Wireframing / Mockups, A/B testing, Cohort Metrics, and other tools. How to translate your findings to your design and business. After this introduction, Session 1 will then focus on Qualitative methods.
- Excercise. How to use customer observation to help improve your design.
- Discussion (the main event this class): Attendees talk about their plans and actions so far to talk to potential customers. Group discussion of findings or ideas. Discussion of readings.
- Assignment: Show 10 potential customers a mockup or demo and use the techniques we tried in class. Be ready to share your findings in the next class.

Session 2, March 6th (in-person):
- Discussion: Of your customer observation work.
- Lecture Content: Session 2 focuses on Quantitative methods. Review of Cohort Metrics, AARRR (Acquisition, Activation, Retention, Referral, Revenue). Related techniques.
- Exercises: Metrics exercises. We’ll look at sample excel files and analyze what we can learn from looking at the data. Look at the data before class. Intro to Google Analytics, if people are interested.
- Assignment: Try the observation exercise from this class and talk to another 20 potential customers.

  • Course: Startup Customer Observation & Metrics


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Paul Orlando

I’m a startup founder and have have used user observation and data analysis to learn. While I do read a lot about theory, I’m more interested in putting it into practice, and that’s what this workshop is all about. Otherwise, I’m pretty active in the startup community and over the last year I presented unique data, entrepreneurial stories and demoed at events including DorkBot, BizSpark, the Levin Institute, Disrupt Hackathon, Columbia, Founders Space, Web2NewYork and others. A bit about me:
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