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OKRs, ‘Early Stage Startups’ edition

Andrew Chen (Andressen Horowitz, ex-Uber) has recently published a pretty valid point on most advice on OKRs (Objectives and Key Results), and on whether they’re even appropriate for pre-Product–Market Fit startups.

OKRs are most certainly harmful for [pre-Product–Market Fit] startups because it causes teams to optimize towards goals instead of constantly asking if the goal I even the right one to begin with? Plus the OKR cycles are typically quarters when iteration should be happening weekly.
Every blog post / book on business processes — OKRs, (…) — almost need [sic] a label to describe the stage of [company] the ideas are for.
(…)

Andrew Chen on LinkedIn

The argument regarding OKR literature is strong, and I recognise myself in it (no, I’m not so vain as to thing this post is about me). My 2-part series on OKRs does present a narrow view, centered on the experience it stemmed from — post-Product–Market Fit, B2B product company. But is it still fair to say OKRs are harmful for early stage startups?

I responded to Andrew making my case for OKRs to be not only appropriate but particularly helpful to early stage startups.