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Find your key activity

Written by Michael Dijkstra on 27 Jan 2013

The cafe on the left really should be busier. They have friendly staff, music playing in the background and a place to sit while you wait. The cafe on right is filled with pretentious staff, there’s no music playing and you stand in the gutter while you wait. But they are packed. And it’s because of one thing: they make really good coffee.

When you want a coffee, you want the best coffee on offer. Nothing else matters.

Too often I see apps that do a number of different things and developers start to worry about insignificant features or button colours when what they should be doing is focusing on doing one thing really well.

The key activity of any app is the point where the app provides the most value to the user. Generally this is the exact point where their problem is solved, and the more often you can solve their problem, the more likely they will continue to use your app, pay for it, and tell their friends about it.

Examples of key activities

Finding your key activity isn’t as hard as it sounds. Here are some examples for inspiration to determine yours:

Project Management

Value: Being more productive
Key metric: Closed tickets
If people close tickets they’re completing work to be done and being productive.


Value: Learning
Key metric: Videos watched
If people continue to watch videos it means they’re finding them valuable and most likely learning.


Value: Lead generation (for advertisers)
Key metric: Ad clicks (leads)
If people click on ads, advertisers get more leads and go on to buy more advertising.

Community Q and A

Value: Having a question answered
Key metric: Answers
If people get answers to questions then they’ll ask more questions.


Value: Money in the bank
Key metric: Transactions
If users transact money it means they’re getting paid, and who doesn’t love that?


Value: Achievement
Key metric: Level up
When users level up they’re achieving something and they’ll be motivated to continue to achieve more.


Value: Revenue
Key metic: Sales
When a vendor frequently sells goods then they will keep their store open.

Nail your one key metric

If you’re looking for raise money, or a reason to quit your day job, then nailing your one key activity will give you the confidence to take the leap and get investors to back you along the way.

What’s your one key activity? Let know us on Twitter.

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