Dear Advisor: What metrics should I include in my pitch deck?

January + August 2023

Almost every time I share advice on how to use data to benchmark and improve your product-market fit or – when I’m mentoring start-ups, there’s one question that (understandably) comes up in the Q&A: "what metrics should I include in my pitch deck?"

While I first start out by saying that “it depends…”, it depends on what:

Here are some general guidelines.

Disclaimer: Depending on how "uncomfortable" your product/offering is, your mileage from the advice shared may vary. I’m not affiliated with any of the resources shared here.

Preliminaries – Why do you need metrics in your pitch deck, in the first place?

In short, metrics can help your audience have a 10K-foot summary view of what is and isn’t going on at your company. Ideally, these metrics will build rapport and credibility with your audience, supporting your thesis that:

General Guidelines – What Metrics to Include

Here’s some advice on what metrics to consider including – that may be applicable no matter what your business is – or what its characteristics are:

Metrics other founders talk about, especially founders that are in your niche and stage

Metrics that showcase any traction you have, such as:

(Any) Metrics that help you tell the story of:

Metrics by Stage

Two resources that I recommend, not just for recommendations by stage, but for more general advice for start-ups (in addition to my blog, of course :), are the (free) NFX and Lenny’s newsletters.

Metrics by Company Type

There are also a number of great resources of metrics to help you evaluate where you are on your product market fit journey, based on the type of company you have:

SaaS Products

If you have a SaaS product, here are some metrics to consider evaluating and sharing (a select 1 or handful from), to tell your story about your product market fit: 


Parting Advice

Metrics shouldn't be the targets to hit at the expense of everything else. Otherwise you can end up in the shoes of Wells Fargo, United Airlines Flight 3411, ScaleFactor, or arbitraging your pizza.

I also don’t expect you to – or recommend – sharing and covering more than a (small) handful of metrics that tell your story in your pitch deck. (And I’m the one that loves data!) 

There is such a thing as too many metrics/numbers/details in your deck. Focus on a handful – the ones that really help you tell your story of "why you, why now and why your product/service (already) fills a big need" and manage expectations while inspiring confidence (which is no easy feat!).

You got this! Good luck!

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