Measure What Matters - John Doerr

A book on OKR and their usage in companies such as Intel, Google (Youtube), Coursera, Zume Pizza and more.

Objective Key Results (OKR).

Objective is the WHAT to achieve. Key Results is the HOW to achieve it. A benchmark and monitor, time bound (often 3 months), measurable and verifiable, aggressive (dare to fail) yet realistic.


Objective: Extend Coursera’s reach to new students

Key Results:

  1. Perform A/B tests, learn, and iterate on ways to acquire new students and engage existing students.
  2. Increase mobile monthly active users (MAU) to 150k.
  3. Create internal tools to track key growth metrics
  4. Launch features to enable instructors to create more engaging videos.

No. 2 is perfectly measureable and verifiable. The others could be broken down further to allow measurement. A job for the teams working on achieving them.

There can be hiring OKR

“One hundred percent of candidates feel they had a well-organized, professional experience even if Nuna does not extend an offer”


OKR create alignment, clarity and job satisfaction (Maslow’s self actualisation)

OKR are visible for everyone in the organisation. If someone wants a job done point at the OKR and check if the job aligns with them. It helps to say No to things.

OKR should not be mapped to bonuses. Say if someone has an extreme stretch goal and reaches 75% of it. Someone else has an easy goal and reaches 90%. Why should the latter get a higher bonus?

Avoid vanity metrics. Amount of users does not matter if they never use the service. We could measure WAT (weekly active time) and MAT (monthly active time) plus engagement. If a feature does not change these metrics it is not going to be implemented.

Less is more (3-5 OKR max). No dictating. Key results are negotiated. Objectives might be closed to debate though.