What is Product-Market Fit?
Before I start, let’s get on the same page about what I mean by product-market fit. You’ve likely heard about the magical product-market fit that startups aspire to—the so-called ‘holy grail’ for products and businesses alike. There are a lot of different ways to define it.
Here’s how I like to think about it:
Your company is selling a product that solves a problem for a market segment, and you’re selling it in a repeatable way.
• Solving a problem.
• For a defined market.
• For customers who are willing to pay for solving it.
• And selling to them is repeatable.
Bonus points: Finding a model that is cost-effective to acquire customers. Can you gain customers for less than what they pay you?
While this sounds like more of a mature company, my experience shows that you can find product-market fit earlier, and begin to reduce the risk of failure even before you build the product. This book focuses on the early stage work you can do to better assure product- market fit.
I’ll also add that you’ve probably found product-market fit when you’re no longer pivoting significantly. While experimentation, market expansion, and change are essential, you’re no longer implementing wild gyrations of the model to make the business model work.
You’re not saying, “We got this wrong, let’s try another market.” Or, “If only the product had this feature, then people will buy.”