The Only Metrics That Matter in the TOTEM

The Fund I work for has a big spreadsheet for each company that gathered around 5-10 metrics, we call it the TOTEM and every company has one, and in theory should be filling it out weekly.

In reality companies rarely fill out their TOTEM and even fewer appreciate what its attempting to do. 

So Here’s my attempt at making a more simple and universal total that any business can use.

Note, this totem isn’t meant to replace your evaluation of the numbers, simply gather the most crucial ones. Tools don’t replace technique and knowhow.

Key Numbers, to be collected weekly –


Revenue (net of GMV)

New customers/users

Key Numbers, to be collected monthly/ quarterly –

Expenses/ OPEX

Current cash balance

Number of employees

1st layer Derivative data –

Week on week GMV/ Rev growth rate (%)

Profit (%)



Cost per user

Cost per new user

Revenue per employee

Net Dollar Retention

2nd layer derivative data –

Rule of 40 % – growth % + profitability % > 40% (is good)

Burn rate

Burn multiple


Other root level data sets that are nice to have –

  • Customer acquisition cost
  • (Time defined) churn rate

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