Are You Better Off Than Yesterday?

If you’re old enough, you likely recognized the title of this email/post right away. Ronald Reagan famously used the following phrase during the American Presidential election of 1980.

“Are You Better Off Than You Were Four Years Ago?”

President Carter struggled to provide an answer to that question. The rhetorical question was answered differently by everyone but it had it’s intended outcome. Most people felt they weren’t better and needed a change in the presidency.

Putting politics aside, this is a question I like to ask companies whenever I speak to them 6-12 months after our last conversation. I get a surprisingly high number of “no” from companies who are still struggling to solve problems around retention, onboarding, acquisition, etc. In other cases, I get a “yes” but with conditions i.e. we are better but we still struggle at X and Y.

For your company and product, you need to be able to objectively answer this question though the timeframe might be shorter for you e.g. 12 months instead of 4 years. If the answer is no, then something needs to change. Perhaps it’s your team structure or you need to hire/fire certain people. Either way, it all starts with an objective look at your current situation.

Actions for This Week:

Start with a short time frame. Are you better off in X area than you were 12 months ago? X can a crucial area of your product like retention which historically hasn’t done well.

Interesting Reads and Resources

  1. Ronald Regan was able to tap into the “Golden Age Fallacy” where we tend to only remember the positive events of the past.
  2. I love the idea of a North Star metric but it can also oversimplify your product. Great take by Brian Balfour on this idea.

P.S. 2018 is almost gone which means that most companies are starting to finalize their plans for 2019. Is this going to be the year where you finally get your data in order? If the answer is yes, then get in touch and learn how we can help you crush your 2019 product goals.


One more thing before you go! Are you getting the data you need to grow your company?

I find most companies are stuck with high-level metrics and they aren't able to properly understand what actually drives user growth for their web and mobile products. To do that, you need the right data and the right tools.

If this sounds like your situation, then you should download our free tracking plan (and tutorial video). This is the document that you should create before you ever implement tools like Mixpanel, Amplitude, Segment, and Intercom. Click the image below to download your own free tracking plan (and tutorial video).


Ruben Ugarte
Ruben Ugarte
I'm the founder of Practico Analytics and I created this company to help companies use analytics data to grow their web and mobile products. I love combining data, psychology, and systems in work and in personal projects.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *