Ideas and Validation January 28, 2020

How do you test product market fit with no user?

Jin @Jinxuetan

Any other ways to find out if my product has a market for it?

  1. 7

    Well, like a lot of the comments mention, you can’t really test for product-market fit without users.

    But what you can definitely test for is:

    1. Persona - Problem - Solution fit
    2. Market and segment size

    Driving traffic to a landing page will definitely help you figure out if you are able to reach your market and segment (2).

    Try breaking apart the question you want to verify:

    • Can I reach my market / segment?
    • Will my market / segment use my product?
    • Will my market / segment pay for my product / solution?

    Each one of these will require a different test which are possible to test without users.

    Hope this helps. Happy to dive deeper if useful.

    1. 1

      To add on, the only thing you can really do without talking to potential users is:
      a) Secondary market research

      • If you think this is a problem you are solving, how many people might have this problem? You'll start to understand whether this is a niche problem or not
        b) Look at potential competition
      • Is anyone out there doing what you want to do already?
      • If not, how are people getting around it without a solution?

      A good first past is to just ask people what they think about your product straight up. Describe the problem, and then tell them your solution. Just be wary they might not be your target users, so you need to take both positive and negative feedback with a grain of salt

      • Post in the Ideas and Validation part of Indiehackers. People are always open to giving feedback there
      • Ask friends / family about it!
    2. 1

      Nice summary Tzeying

      Re the different tests/tools that you mention, https://realstartupbook.com/ has a nice summary of them

  2. 3

    Hi Jin,

    As some of the other people have suggested here, you can't tell PM/fit without users.

    PM/fit is a post-launch concept which can be described in a few different ways, but the most appropriate here is perhaps "the moment when a startup finally finds a widespread set of customers that resonate with its product' (Eric Reis).

    I'm going to assume you're pre-launch here, and if so - and if you want to do things 'by the book' - you're looking to find evidence that you've got the right customer segment, problem and value proposition first.

    As @hatkyinc suggests, a landing page is a good candidate for all three, and customer interviews will help you understand whether the customer segment you're targeting as the problem you think they do.

  3. 3

    Start with the problem before the product. If you have the problem yourself, then you have the first user :)
    Otherwise, if this is a real problem many people are having, it shouldn't be too difficult to find the initial 5/10 users to start iterating.

  4. 3

    Sorry for being sarcastic here, but how do you become a millionaire without selling anything? Without real users there's no way to test product market fit.

    Start with doing potential customer interviews. Not only will this help you validate the idea but will also help build a small database of interested users if you manage to narrow down your target audience.

  5. 3

    Put a landing page and drive traffic there
    Or do potential customers interviews

    1. 1

      A question that might have been asked a thousand times (but I'm new so be gentle :-)) how do you drive traffic there?

      1. 3

        @faouzi @thunk

        Well, you’re at the right place then! Indiehackers is a great place to drive some early traffic. The usual spots of twitter, slack groups, facebook groups work really well if they’re in your niche. If not, a tiny amount of marketing dollars on cheaper platforms works too. FB marketing is still a very economical option.

        1. 1

          OK thanks. Whats your thoughts on Reddit & Product Hunt?

          1. 1

            They definitely work too! Reddit’s always been a little difficult for me, but it might work for you.

            There’s actually a fantastic article on launching with PH and beta testing by @coreyhaines

            https://makermag.com/2019/07/19/no-code-job-board/

            Check it out. Was a really interesting read for me.

      2. 1

        There is like landing page feedback "group"/ post type here for example... If a bit depends on the niche and needed crowd.

        You can find like a forum or Facebook group of customers in you niche target

        @tzeying gave some other options like small paid ad champaigns

    2. 1

      the same I'm working on at the moment with https://simpleboard.io plus fully functional MVP
      thanks for providing any feedback about the product

  6. 2

    You can also conduct customer development interviews...

    (Comprehensive Customer Interviews) Develop a longer series of customer interview
    questions based on your Initial Interviews and Key Assumptions. Write at least ten open-ended
    customer interview questions for each Customer Problem, possibly using a tool like Customer
    Interview Script Generator (http://fndri.com/1Kbn5qn - See Resources). For each Customer
    Problem, do a detailed 30 minute interview with at least 5 customers, at least 2 of whom you
    have not interviewed before, for a total of at least 10 customers, at least 4 of whom are new. See
    if you can select these additional 2 customers for each Customer Problem to resemble your
    Identified Lead Customers. Remember to listen for negative feedback, and do not let people be
    ‘nice’ and tell you only what you want to hear. Write the name of the 10+ individuals
    interviewed and a one sentence description of their background. Then, provide a bulleted list of
    any positive or negative key insights about each Customer Problem gained from the interview.

    1. (Customer Archetype) Develop a Customer Archetype that describes your ideal target
      customers, following the example of this guide (http://fndri.com/2wsTXc0). For each of the two
      Customer Problems, leverage feedback from the Comprehensive Interviews to write one
      paragraph that describes the ideal customer for the solution, providing demographic information,
      hobbies, interests, position, work and professional life. Then, write a second paragraph for each
      of the two Customer Problems that describes why a customer needs your solution and how they
      will learn about your solution, as well as any steps that are needed to adopt your solution. Be as
      detailed and precise as possible with all of the above, and include sample photos and any other
      research.

    from my founders institute training

  7. 2

    What I did for Solfej was to post on university subreddits asking to interview music students. I used techniques from the mom test to get an idea what my users actually need. At the end I asked them if they'd be okay to see a prototype and let me know what they think

    After this I turned the interviews into personas and went from there.

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