On the latest episode of the SaaS Revolution Show Alex Theuma takes you to sunny Lisbon and Web Summit where he caught up with Ashley Carroll, Partner at Social Capital. After sitting on two excellent panels, she joined him for a conversation about metrics and why user engagement is the most important one in her book. Chatting amidst the Web Summit crowds, they cover lessons she has learned working at SurveyMonkeyOptimizely and DocuSign, what is a big mistake every company should avoid when it comes to product management and what is the one product she has a serious crush on that has transformed how Social Capital works.

A business and data-driven person, Ashley narrowed on B2B SaaS early on in her career. She was an early employee at SurveyMonkey where she went through the tumultuous journey from MVP to product/market fit. She then joined Optimizely to lead product management. From then on she jumped to growth at DocuSign where she worked to open the self-service acquisition channel.

One of the key learnings for her throughout all three companies was that as a company scales it tends to focus too much on revenue metrics and forget to keep looking at user engagement and usage of the product. The more customers a company has, the more its attention could get diluted into fulfilling their requests rather than innovating. And that is something to be avoided at all costs.

After her time on the operator’s side, Ashley joined Social Capital, first as EIR and then as Partner. Upon her joining them, Social Capital was already taking a very data-driven approach to investing and had worked on building a platform for metric benchmarking, which the VC firm uses as it advises startups. When it comes to revenue, they mainly look at MRR by type: new customers vs existing vs churned vs expansion vs resurrection. It gives a very good sense of how MRR is moving.

Listen on to hear what are the metrics on the engagement side they look at, what to look at when there is no daily use case for your product, why engineers should never sell and always have sacred time for innovation.

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