Just capturing this here as a reminder to myself!
Product-Market Fit Process can, from one person's perspective, look like this:
I appreciate David's simple process and it fits well with the few and rare times that I've experienced PMF.
What I love about it most, especially, is the fact that it starts with
talk to customers because this is effectively my thesis on community before everything — you can't build your product without first understanding, deeply, your customer's problem!
And, to do that you must become part of their community — it's not just about building your own! You have to earn the right and trust of your pre-community members before they'll become part of your community proper!
And then, you can start building! And build we must!
The one thing that is missing is the
cold, hard truth that you might run this process but never actually reach PMF — and you'll know it because you feel as if everything is breaking because you have simply too much demand.
You can always feel when product/market fit isn’t happening. The customers aren’t quite getting value out of the product, word of mouth isn’t spreading, usage isn’t growing that fast, press reviews are kind of ‘blah’, the sales cycle takes too long, and lots of deals never close. And you can always feel product/market fit when it’s happening. The customers are buying the product just as fast as you can make it — or usage is growing just as fast as you can add more servers. Money from customers is piling up in your company checking account. You’re hiring sales and customer support staff as fast as you can. Reporters are calling because they’ve heard about your hot new thing and they want to talk to you about it. You start getting entrepreneur of the year awards from Harvard Business School. Investment bankers are staking out your house. You could eat free for a year at Buck’s.
So, keep building. Keep going. Don't give up.