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Successfully navigating the product market fit stage

July 11, 2021


How do you test whether you have reached the right fit between your product and the market? Sean Ellis is the author of the best-selling book Hacking Growth: How Today's Fastest-Growing Companies Drive Breakout Success. He has developed a product market match survey that allows you to evaluate your customer base to see if you have achieved optimal product market fit. This is a simple test and contains only one question.


If you can no longer use [product], how will you feel?


• Very disappointed
• A little disappointed
• Not disappointed
• I no longer use the product

The test should be sent to as many customers as possible, and you should look for at least 40% of respondents who are "very disappointed." This is important because if you can’t find these users, you will most likely need to learn more about your product to understand what value it brings to your customers.

After performing this type of analysis, you can use a qualitative approach to understand "why" customers use your product, hoping to improve your business and further retain customers. We have briefly discussed the fit between the product and the market, but what comes before that? The "before" aspect of product and market fit is crucial for any startup to ensure that they start their discovery in the right way. The first stage of the startup process is to find the problem/solution. The core premise is to match effective customer issues with business ideas. Although this is a crucial stage, we are surprised that many entrepreneurs fail to follow this critical first step and go directly to the product development stage. Hacking is good but only at the right stage.

Validating your assumptions is essential-you need to ensure that the assumptions we have outlined are validated in a way that allows you to improve the model and build the first version of your ideas. For verification, you need to use question criteria to identify and interview customers. These questions allow you to identify aspects of the opportunity, such as customer problems, frictions, and habits, and confirm the assumptions we have outlined. Once you have verified your assumptions and refined the business model, you should build the first version of the product in the form of a mockup. The mockup is not the final product, but it contains the core elements of your idea, and can be a presentation that you will show to potential customers to get your first order. It is highly recommended that you work with professionals who have done this before and can help you avoid the most common mistakes. As the saying goes, you only get one chance to make a good first impression. Once you are successful in this regard, you will achieve a good validation of the problem and the solution, and then you can begin the journey of product and market fit.

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