Episode #032

Before and After Product-Market Fit with Peter and Calvin from Segment

Why is it so difficult to recognize product-market fit before you find it? And how do you find it, anyway? Learn about the struggles the team behind Segment faced, and how everything changed after they built a product that people wanted.


Courtland Allen 0h 0m 7s

What's up everybody? This is Courtland Allen from IndieHackers.com, where I talk to the founders of profitable internet businesses and I ask them how they got to where they are today so that the rest of us can learn from their mistakes and their successes.

Today I'm doing a first for the podcast and actually talking to two guests in the same episode. They are Peter Reinhardt and Calvin French-Owen, the CEO and CTO of Segment, respectively. Segment is one of the most popular platforms for collecting all of your company's analytical data in one place and then sort of rerouting it to wherever it needs to go.

At first, I thought I was flirting with disaster by having two different guests on the podcast at the same time, but it turns out that hearing the perspectives of two different founders of the same company is somewhere close to twice as insightful as just hearing from one.

During our conversation, Peter and Calvin began by sharing the story behind Segment, which really starts with numerous failed attempts to get their start up off the ground. They really had zero success early on and very little to lean on besides themselves, their third co-founder Ilya [and fourth co-founder Ian], and a rapidly declining bank account.

After that, we get into how exactly they found product-market fit and created something that people actually wanted to pay for. We also spend some time trying to put a finger on just why it's so difficult to understand, and internalize, and consistently apply broad advice like "make something people want" until you've both failed and succeeded at doing so.

I think the contrast between the way their business grows and the types of challenges they have to overcome before and after finding product-market fit really illuminates why it's so important to make that the first milestone you need to go after. All of these growth hacking techniques and sales and marketing skills really don't matter until people actually want what you've made.

Anyway, I find what these guys have to say very illuminating, and I hope you guys will too. So without further ado, Peter Reinhardt and Calvin French-Owen.

Courtland Allen 0h 1m 51s

Okay, we're trying something different today, joining me on the podcast is not just one but two founders, Peter Reinhardt and Calvin French-Owen. They are the CEO and the CTO, respectively, of a very successful and popular analytics company called Segment. How's it going guys?

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