When you set out to do something - anything - there's often a clear indicator of what success is. Sometimes it's on the surface, easier to see and realise, while other times it can't really be put into words.
If you're cooking a meal, success on the surface may just be making an edible dish. Or maybe success there is learning a new cooking skill, mastering a certain dish, or impressing a food critic.
With building a product, success can come in many forms and I think it's crucial early on to determine what success is for that product and the team behind the product. That's what I've been trying to do with Metorik over the past few months as I leave the 'focus and build' stage and move into the 'focus, grow, and sustain' stage. I'll be honest. I miss the 'focus and build' stage.
Success right now for Metorik is for it to become a sustainable source of income allowing me to work on it full-time. At this point, with over 30 paying customers, it pretty much has. It's not providing $10,000's of monthly revenue just yet, but it's paying most of the bills and making the next stage possible. That's pretty exciting and I do feel those glimmers of success.
But success isn't a stale objective. Rather, it's an evolving concept. Future success for Metorik feels like more customers, more features, a small team working on it with me, and more. It feels like achievements and milestones, both for my customers and for me. It feels like something that I could reflect on in years to come and be proud of what was built and proud of the customers that grew, functioned, and more significantly, succeeded because of it.
What do all these ideas of success have in common? They're customer-driven.
I very much believe that if my customers succeed, so too will Metorik.
I'm always relieved when I remember that even if Metorik never gained or lost another customer, as long the product does what it's meant to, Metorik's revenue will continue to increase as the existing customers grow their stores (due to order volume-based pricing). For me, placing my success in the hands of my customers is a very comfortable and obvious thing to do.
So I guess my point here, and the conclusion I've slowly reached through thinking about this over the past several weeks, is a simple, and maybe even naive one. While I'm sure there will be small moments of success (a new customer) and big moments of success ($10,000 MRR, my first hire) over the lifetime of Metorik, none of them will ultimately and solely represent the success of Metorik as a product and company.
Metorik's success will encompass all of these achievements, as they contribute towards the ultimate and sole focus of Metorik - the success of Metorik's customers.