#11 Analytics Stack 📈 

I’m Ivan Landabaso, VC at JME.vc. Startup Riders is a weekly newsletter where I go down startup rabbit holes and share actionable insights. I also love surfing & pizza 🤙


  • 📈 Startup Analytics: YC’s guide

  • 📚 Speed Reading: a crash course

  • 💵 Recent Deals in Spain: Universal DX, Unnax, Meep and more

  • 💭 Thinking or Reading: 2020 according to Google

📈 Startup Analytics Setup: YC’s guide

Founders often waste time researching tools to measure initial product performance. Here’s a quick breakdown of YC’s lecture on selecting an analytics stack for startups.

Why are analytics useful for a startup?

  1. To test for product market fit

  2. To focus the team

What basic framework should you keep in mind when building your first funnel (for any B2C or B2B product)?

  • Acquisition -- how many signups this week vs. last?

  • Engagment / Retention -- how many users are re-engaged week over week?

  • Monetization -- how much revenue are we making week over week? 

I’m not going to deep dive into other funnel frameworks (there are many…) or how to select metrics (lots of debate on the subject, I like to derive them from OKRs).

Instead, I want you to retain 3 key insights:

1. Don’t spend too much time searching for the perfect tool

You will need different tools, at different times. Here’s a great visual guide on roughly which ones you need based on your project lifecycle stage:

2. Stay flexible with your tooling choice

As your product (and team) evolves, you will have different needs - but there will also be new tools coming to market. No need to stress, just keep an (intentional) eye out.

Here’s an example of how a startup used and switched from a set of tools to another over a relatively short period of time:

3. If yo don’t know where to start, try this basic stack 👇

Here’s a good example of how Segment managed to cut costs even further on their initial basic analytics stack:

P.s. thanks @bamarc for sharing notes!

📚 Speed-Reading Crash Course

Speed reading is a super power, which I (sadly) only discovered at University.

Before any of you big readers chops my head off - I am fully aware that speed reading is not always useful:

Think about it as a super power you can (and should) turn ON and OFF - depending on whether you are reading for pleasure Vs specific purpose.

We stop learning how to read when we are kids - and most of us never spend any time honing reading as a skill itself.

Imagine you were only taught math up to basic arithmetic - that is the equivalent of what happens in most schools around the world with reading technique. For those of you who hate math, imagine you were only ever taught to walk, but not run.

To put this into context, an average human reads at 250 words per minute (WPM). Your really capacity however - is orders of magnitude larger. You can (relatively easily) >2x your WPM while maintaining comprehension.

Here’s a quick tool you can use to test your current capacity.

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Here’s how to get started:

1. Avoid the 3 deadly sins

  1. Subvocalisation - when you read, notice how you hear a voice repeating the words you are taking through your eyes, inside your head? You don’t need it. We humans absorb information much faster through our visual system than our auditory system. This is a skill that you need to train (see training app below).

  2. Regression - avoid re-reading passages by becoming an active reader. You often regress (feel like you have to go back) because the author provides (excess) background that “bores” you. If instead, you become an “active reader” aka searching for specific information / meaning in the text, you will avoid falling in this trap (the tactics below will help with this). Ask yourself - what information am I searching for?

  3. Fixations - this is how many times do you move your eyes on the page. On average, an untrained reader uses 10-15 fixations per sentence. You can dramatically reduce this number by using a pacer (also included in a training app). Basically, you reduce the number of time your eyes bounce within a sentence on the page, forcing you to absorb multiple words with each bounce (visually, not subvocalising). You will learn to use your peripheral vision to absorb words visually.

2. Use these 5 tactics

Whenever you approach a new book (again, not for pleasure but with purpose in mind), invest the first 10-20 mins doing these 5 things - it will save you massive amounts of time and increase your comprehension:

  • Read front and back 

  • Read the table of contents

  • Skim - pre-read by taking 10 seconds per page, looking for sub-headings and key figures that stick out to you.

  • Scan - spend about 30 seconds per page, looking for key words and figures.

  • Speed read - and remember to slow down (if you wish) on whatever parts you’ve concluded are most important.

3. Train with an App

Here’s a list of different speed reading apps you can pick and chose from. They all do basically the same thing, developing the core skills of reducing subvocalization and fixations - while testing your comprehension and speed as you go.

This guy does a great job at summarising some of the above mentioned points👇

💵 Recent Deals In Spain

You love startups and want to enjoy a Spanish lifestyle? Come join the Spanish startup ecosystem. Here’s a list of recently funded startups:

💭 Thinking or Reading

The next big thing in 2021 is…

We’ve previously discussed how we should try to avoid being Nassim Taleb’s turkey. I nevertheless find it interesting to read through speculations, as long as you know they are just that.

This is the net net from a recent survey of 50 technologists:

Google’s 2020 Year in Search

A very telling visual summarising our collective consciousness in 2020:

Breathing like Rickson Gracie

A true Brazilian Jiu Jitsu legend walks you through his breathing training routine