A New Metric For Startup Job Postings

February 16, 2013 3:06 pm

Dan Shapiro had a post reviewing Hacker News job postings that triggered us to write about something we had in mind for a while – a new metric to publish in startup job postings – (the metric is not new, we picked it up from Mark Zuckerburg) – ‘Users Per Engineer’. Basically, the idea is to just derive the number of users every engineer is responsible for – a number that would indicate ‘impact’.

“The No. 1 value here is focus on impact. We’ve always been small in terms of number of employees. We have this stat that we throw out all the time here: There is on the order of 1,000 engineers and now on the order of a billion users, so each engineer is responsible for a million users. ” Source

‘Users Per Engineer’– that would be a really cool metric, and would attract exactly the kind of people you would want for your startup – the folks who prioritize impact over many other factors.

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2 Comments for “A New Metric For Startup Job Postings”

  1. I suppose this is okay for consumer-based startups where “eyeballs” are important (sigh, it’s like 1998 all over again in that space.) But what about enterprise and B2B startups? As a given, the number of “users” (hate that word) will be smaller, but then again, you get a chance to know your customers personally and help them do their jobs in a more effective way.

    This “users per engineer” metric would unfavorably bias against startups that actually make money on every customer, and toward “bubble” consumer startups that don’t make money off their customers (because, after all, it’s easy to build up millions of “users” when none of them actually have to pay you for your product.)


  2. junior

    Thanks for the comment, Erica.

    Agree, there is a bias towards consumer startups. And sometimes, the startups might not make money, like you say. But that is the whole point: the engineer you want to attract is someone who would be attracted by the impact, among all other parameters.

    Your point on B2B startups is right. However, there too, there must be a way to get to a ‘Users per Engineer’ number?

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