Recently I have been hearing a lot of product/founder fit and how important of a role it plays but have you come across companies that have defied it or have miserably failed?
I personally don't think this is as important as the 4 core metrics : Product, Market, Channel, Model and the "fit" between each of these.
A founder should have certain qualities to make them good leaders: visionaries, forward-thinking, and extremely self-aware. I think it's hard enough to judge how well someone will be a business leader. I think the problems that seem to be product/founder fit are actually a founder's self awareness of their strengths and weaknesses.
Agreed. I think the traits that make a good founder don't always translate to being a good business leader. Surrounding yourself with the right people seems to be critical.
I really respect the guy, but nonetheless I would say Justin Kan and Atrium was a failure in terms of the original vision. As far as I know, he took his vast experience as a startup founder dealing with his lawyers, and thought he could jump into and disrupt the delivery of corporate legal services. He was in way over his head and even a $75MM life-raft couldn't save him.
In the same field, and on the defiant end would be Joshua Browder and DoNotPay. A university student scratched his own itch with a minor legal issue and has gone on to release numerous beloved legal services consumer apps.
Two very smart, and well funded guys tackling legal services delivery with no formal background in it, and two very different outcomes.
That’s really interesting! From what it looks like Joshua might not have had the safety net that Justin did. Do you think that might come into play where when tough times hit which founder stays back and fights and which one give up?
Well, Joshua has a pretty good pedigree, and was coming out of Stanford. So he definitely wasn't hard-up, and now DoNotPay is very well funded, (deservedly).
In this particular instance, Justin is quite wealthy and probably didn't have the desire to stick around and plug the holes of a sinking ship. I can't say for sure what Joshua would have done if his first idea(s) flopped, but he's much earlier in his startup career than Justin and probably would have pushed on.