23A Pirate’s Tale

Find your way on the path to success, from awareness to revenue, measured with the Pirate Metrics.


  • “When will we get the iOS version?”
  • “After we have found Product/Market Fit.”
  • “Oh, and when will you have Product/Market Fit?”
  • “Our Pirate Metrics should give us a signal.”
  • “What are the Pirate Metrics?”
  • “I’m glad you asked.”

The Pirate Metrics, also called the AARRR Metrics (or AAARRR Metrics), are a set of measurements proposed by Dave McClure, the founder of 500 Startups, that indicate how well your business model is working for you and your customers. Some people consider these metrics a great way to optimize a sales or marketing funnel. I consider them to be a good tool to improve many kinds of funnels. The Pirate Metrics are used by founders, entrepreneurs, and intrapreneurs to determine where their teams should be spending most of their time. (See Figure 23.1.)

The figure shows a funnel representing various stages of the pirate metrics (AAARRR), which are awareness, acquisition, activation, retention referral and revenue.

FIGURE 23.1 The Pirate Metrics (AAARRR)

You will notice that the various stages identified by the Pirate Metrics look similar to the stages of a high-level Journey Map. This is no coincidence. With a high-level Journey Map, you describe the experience of a customer from their first contact with your business to their enjoyment of your product. The Pirate Metrics describe a similar path, from ...

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