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Let’s focus on Impact Metrics, not just “industries”

Let’s focus on Impact Metrics, not just “industries”

Start INSPIRING people
Dec 11, 2021 1:54 AM
Last updated
Jan 12, 2022 10:49 PM

Making Earth Healthy. Eliminating Drug Addiction. Unlocking Human Potential.

What do all these have in common?

They describe an outcome, not a category.

While categories are valid, I find that they often fail to excite the workforce-at-large. I’ve seen it, working since 2018 in the “career” category and diving more & more into impactful work along the way.

Redefining work (contributing to the workforce and economy)

People want to feel confident and excited about what we do and how we’re valuable—it may sound obvious, but the de-facto systems aren’t designed to make work truly exciting, deeply inspirational.

I’ll spare you the full spiel this time (😂) however I can tell you with confidence that…

Understanding impact gets people way more excited about work

One way to inspire people is by making our impact metrics more obvious, front-and-center, talked-about. For example:

🎓 “Education” is nice, but Maximizing Learning For All is inspiring as fuck, if you ask me. It immediately makes me want to dig into the how(s).

Or another:

🌍 “Climate” is important, but Making All of Earth Healthy resonates with me on a much deeper level. I immediately think, “yes, wow, that’s exactly what we need to do. How do we make it happen?”

Eliminating Drug Addiction. (“Social Services”; “Public Health”)

Unlocking Human Potential. (“Education”; “Productivity”)

You get it.

How do you feel, reading these?

I think this kind of exposure to the impact metric itself instantly and viscerally aligns people—or it doesn’t and you know it’s not the right thing! If neither of the above examples were inspiring you to, that only means you are inspired by other things.

And herein lies an important distinction: I am writing from the “social impact” perspective here.

This is for social impact leaders

Of course, some people are pretty much just motivated by building something awesome. If it has impact, even better, but that’s not why they do it. And there’s nothing wrong with that!

But our job, as leaders in impact, is to make damn sure there’s an impact metric. Those of us who do wake up every day with a mission to achieve are responsible for getting the smart people to stop working on addicting algorithms and start working on what will make Earth, and humanity, worth existing for centuries and millennia.

If you want to be seen, express a personal mission

People like us also benefit personally from expressing a personal mission—the most successful people are constantly evangelizing their points of view.

Calling yourself an “EdTech Founder” is a helpful starting point, but saying you are “working on maximizing learning for all” (and, equally importantly, why) is an excellent way to attract exactly the kinds of investors and employees you really want. Not the trend-chasers.

Same goes for job seekers, freelancers, and everyone in between. A job seeker whose resume online presence screams “I’m trying to have an impact on how people learn” is wayyy more likely to be considered by a founder or hiring manager driven by the same objective. (Notice, I didn’t say “an EdTech founder.”)

So let’s focus more on impact metrics, and a little less on categories, yeah?

Here are a few more impact metrics to get you started

Here are a few that come to mind right now:

Eliminating Cycles of Debt (FinTech)

Enriching Local Communities (??? Social justice?)

Making Civilization More Pleasant/Efficient (GovTech, CivicTech)

Creating Healthier People (Mental Health, Nutrition, Fitness)

Helping People Create Peace of Mind…

more sub-metrics… see

if you want to dive deeper 😋

And I’d love to hear yours! Come join the Impact Alliance and we can jam about it.

Thanks for reading and take care.

Originally published @December 10, 2021




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So let’s focus more on impact