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Apr 3rd, 2014 Share: Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn

How Do You Know Your Startup Is Having Impact

A little while ago I had the great fortune to sit down with Kevin Starr from the Mulago Foundation. Kevin is a true rockstar in the global impact space — the foundation he runs, Mulago, continuously selects the best non-profits with the biggest impact in the world.

We talked about impact and how he makes his investment decisions. His formula is simple — and can easily be translated into any startup, not only social enterprises. Kevin selects startups who do the following three things exceptionally well:

  1. Know your mission
  2. Measure the right thing
  3. Measure it well

Thinking about this — I see tons of startups falling flat on each one of these points: They can’t clearly articulate what they are actually doing, which problem they are solving for which customer and how they are going about it. They often measure the wrong thing or some vanity metrics and then they tend to measure these things in a way which doesn’t give them actionable insights.

Three simple steps. Make sure you do them well and you’re on the right path.

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