Can Startups Learn From Comparables?

A pivotal change is taking place in Startup land. Business stories and models are being open-sourced along with a plethora of metrics and financial data, courtesy of services such as CrunchBase, Tech in Asia and Mattermark. With these relatively new tools you can now benchmark your performance against that of the industry and other probably similar startups. If your project is pre-money you can also use Angel List and discover what people in your space are doing. But this enriches the startup development experience with a new dimension, namely that of “comparables”.

In finance, comparables are used to discover regularities across industries but, until very recently, only VCs and super angels had access to this breadth of information for the startup ecosystem. Today, multiple source provide free information and APIs, including interesting regional curations like Tech in Asia. The availability of these sources is simply game-changing for founders.

You can use these services to discover trends even before they enter into public consciousness, fine tune your fundraising efforts by using comparative metrics, and predict industry outcomes by using some basic game theory and market analysis. Don’t limit your strategic analysis to 10K and 10Q explorations, comparative benchmarking of startups is both fun as well as enlightening for both fresh and experienced founders alike.