Unlocking the Power of Metrics: From DAU/MAU to Fermat's Last Theorem


Hatched by Glasp

Sep 22, 2023

4 min read


Unlocking the Power of Metrics: From DAU/MAU to Fermat's Last Theorem

In the world of product development and marketing, metrics are essential tools for evaluating success and making informed decisions. One such metric that is commonly used to measure engagement is DAU/MAU, which stands for Daily Active Users divided by Monthly Active Users. While it is a valuable indicator of product-market fit (PMF), it is not without its limitations.

DAU/MAU is a metric that provides insight into how many users are actively engaging with a product on a daily basis compared to the number of users who engage with it on a monthly basis. It is a simple ratio that can give a rough estimate of user engagement and retention. However, it does not tell the whole story.

To evaluate PMF solely based on DAU/MAU is to overlook the true value of a product. There are instances where a product may not have a high DAU/MAU ratio but still hold significant value. It is important to consider factors beyond simple engagement numbers to determine the success and potential of a product.

One such factor to consider is the concept of nature versus nurture. Just as in the field of psychology, where the debate revolves around whether traits are innate or acquired through external influences, the same can be applied to product development. A product's success may be influenced by both its inherent qualities and the nurturing it receives from marketing efforts, user feedback, and continuous improvement. DAU/MAU alone may not capture the full impact of these factors.

Furthermore, it is crucial to recognize that a high DAU/MAU ratio does not guarantee sustainable success. If a product heavily relies on advertisements for support and lacks a natural flow or organic growth, it may not be a reliable indicator of long-term success. In such cases, it is essential to explore alternative metrics that can provide a more comprehensive understanding of the product's performance.

One remarkable example that highlights the importance of looking beyond traditional metrics is Fermat's Last Theorem. In the 17th century, the mathematician Pierre de Fermat made a claim that the equation an + bn = cn has no solutions in positive integers if n is an integer greater than 2. This claim stood unsolved for more than three centuries until it was finally proven in 1994 by Andrew Wiles.

Fermat's Last Theorem teaches us that there are challenges and problems that cannot be solved by conventional means. It reminds us to think outside the box and explore new approaches when evaluating and measuring success. Just as mathematicians had to go beyond traditional methods to solve Fermat's Last Theorem, so too must product developers and marketers venture beyond conventional metrics to gain a deeper understanding of their products.

With this in mind, here are three actionable pieces of advice for product developers and marketers seeking to unlock the power of metrics:

  • 1. Look beyond DAU/MAU: While DAU/MAU can provide valuable insights, it should not be the sole metric used to evaluate product success. Consider additional metrics that align with your specific goals and objectives. For example, conversion rates, customer satisfaction scores, or user retention rates can provide a more comprehensive view of your product's performance.
  • 2. Embrace the nature versus nurture concept: Recognize that a product's success is influenced by a combination of inherent qualities and external factors. Invest in marketing efforts, gather user feedback, and continuously improve your product to nurture its growth. By understanding the interplay between nature and nurture, you can develop a more holistic approach to evaluating success.
  • 3. Be open to unconventional metrics: Just as Fermat's Last Theorem required unconventional methods to solve, be open to exploring alternative metrics that can capture the unique aspects of your product. Consider metrics that align with your product's value proposition, user behavior, and long-term sustainability. Don't be afraid to challenge the status quo and redefine what success means for your product.

In conclusion, while DAU/MAU is a valuable metric for measuring engagement, it is not without its limitations. To truly unlock the power of metrics, we must look beyond traditional measures and explore new ways of evaluating success. By considering the nature versus nurture concept, being open to unconventional metrics, and embracing a more holistic approach, product developers and marketers can gain a deeper understanding of their products and pave the way for long-term success.

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