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The most overlooked ingredient in Product/Market Fit

I constantly find that most early-stage startups overlook the importance of picking one killer use case when trying to find Product/Market Fit.

So much effort goes into building a great landing page, validating the idea and shipping product experiments quickly 'Lean Startup'-style.

But then at the last minute, the team throws 6 different use case suggestions onto their website and hopes for the best. 🤦‍♂️🤦‍♀️

Founders assume that use cases are about giving their website visitors inspiration for how to use your product. They're about waaaay more than that:

• Your killer use case defines the territory that you're unbundling and outcompeting an industry leader on. If you want to beat Goliath, you have to be focused and specific. (aka drop the "all-in-one" line)

• Your killer use case informs your entire customer acquisition strategy by identifying the customer 'signal' that you'll attempt to intercept through sales/marketing.

• Your killer use case tells customers exactly when and how to use your product. Most founders assume that if they explain how their product works, users will know what to do with it. (Spoiler: they won't)

I wrote a deep dive guide explaining all those points in detail along along with a data-driven approach to finding your killer use case. Check it out here :)

  1. 1

    Cool IH article and also cool guide on your own blog!

    What I didn't understand was this:

    Your killer use case informs your entire customer acquisition strategy by identifying the customer 'signal' that you'll attempt to intercept through sales/marketing.

    Can you explain?

    1. 1

      Hey @nikwen, taking some sections from the blog to explain:

      ---

      We weren't sure if our killer use case should be "validate your new product idea" or "find product/market fit faster."

      Now, you might think that these two problems are pretty much the same thing, but there's one massive difference — validation happens before you start building the product, finding product/market fit is an ongoing process that takes place while you're building the product.

      Our primary user acquisition channel is SEO via content marketing. There are plenty of good keywords to focus on within both of these use cases, but for SEO to work you need to be able to intercept a 'signal' from your target user (like them searching an answer to their question).

      Not only does a product builder decide on their validation method before they start building a product and therefore there's a way smaller signal to intercept, it often doesn't even happen at all. Product/Market Fit, on the other hand, is a process that has countless 'signals' along the way as product builders hit pitfalls and look for solutions. Really, working towards Product/Market Fit is an ongoing process that never actually ends as you expand to new segments or use cases later on.

      Therefore, if we picked "validate your new product idea" as our killer use case, we would need to find other channels to preemptively reach our target users (like partnerships and workshops so that we could get in front of users before they started working on their next big idea). For "find product/market fit faster," people hit problems at every step along the way, so we have a bunch of 'bottom of the funnel' searches that we can use to offer people a solution (which I assume is working if you found this article 😉).

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