Being a part of the Atlanta Tech Village enables me to spend a good bit of time with entrepreneurs that have a working product and are seeking product-market fit. As a product-oriented entrepreneur, I enjoy talking about the software, how it works, how customers use it, and how the customer on-boarding process works. After writing about 5 Ways to Identify Product-Market Fit, I’ve come to the following conclusion:
Product-market fit is achieved when five new customers are immediately happy and don’t find any bugs.
Before, I was leaning towards a certain number of customers, or level of value received from the service. Now, I believe product-market fit is all about signing a small number of successful customers that don’t run into rough edges. Some startups sign new customers, but the customers aren’t happy and don’t end up seeing enough value in the product (there was more selling than buying). Also, the new customers might be happy, but they immediately run into bugs, and so don’t have a great experience (bugs are normal but need to be squashed quickly).
Product-market fit is difficult to achieve but readily apparent when new customers are successful and have a bug-free experience. Once fit has been achieved, the next step is shifting attention to building a repeatable customer acquisition model (see The Four Stages of a B2B Startup).
What else? What are some more thoughts on the idea that product-market fit has been achieved once five new customers are successful and don’t find product issues?