PostHog – Essential product insights for startups


I’ll admit it; I used to think metrics were only an afterthought when creating a software product.

Build the product according to client specs, add some Google Analytics to capture the basics like pageviews, and that’s a wrap!

This approach may have been valid for projects with well-defined user requirements, where the market was already known, but startup products are different.

Startups need analytics from the start

Startups are testing an unknown market with an offering they cannot possibly know will fit in that market. Most startups fail and, of those that fail, most fail due to poor product-market fit or marketing problems.

If market alignment is so existential for startups then it makes sense that metrics & insights should inform the development and evolution of a startup product, not be added at the end.

But, as with most things, saying something is important is much easier than implementing it.

Startups need flexibility

I’ve used several tools over the years for insights & analytics (namely Firebase & Google Analytics). All are great on their own merits, but none have provided an all-in-one solution to my small startup needs. For a small startup scenario in the EU, I ideally need something that provides:

  • Control over the data. Data privacy is always important, especially in the EU where rules are arguably tougher than in the US.
  • Open source. Not only does open source give reassurance over how the data you are collecting is being used, but it also allows self-hosting if required in the future.
  • Scalable pricing. Small startups are generally unwilling or unable to pay upfront for tools. Having generous free tiers and fair scalable pricing allows startups to test their assumptions with minimal risk.
  • Developer experience. Small teams have very limited time & resources, so being able to move quickly is a must.
  • Usability. Having a tool that can equally be used by developers, marketers and managers is important, especially if the developers need to hand off the project at some point.


PostHog is a new entrant but already fulfils all of the criteria above. It is an all-in-one customer insight platform that empowers startups to gather essential metrics, providing a clear pathway to refine their product and align it with market needs.

PostHog offers a suite of advanced features that go beyond basic tracking. Startups can leverage A/B testing to experiment with different versions of their product, ensuring they make data-driven decisions. Session replays allow teams to watch real user interactions, providing invaluable insights into user experience and potential pain points. Additionally, feature flags enable developers to roll out new features gradually, testing their impact without a full release.

PostHog also has a user-friendly interface, making it significantly easier to navigate than Google Aanalytics. This ease of use means startups can quickly set up and start collecting data without the steep learning curve.

As an open-source solution, PostHog offers the flexibility to self-host, addressing privacy concerns that come with third-party hosting. The approach is similar to Supabase’s open-core model, providing the best of both worlds: robust features with the option to maintain complete control over your data.

Try it on your next project

In summary, PostHog is not just another analytics tool; it’s a comprehensive user insights platform. It is specifically designed to help startups find their product-market fit. With an easy setup, the flexibility of self-hosting, and scalable pricing, PostHog is a valuable asset for any startup aiming to understand its users better and grow smarter.