One of the never-ending startup discussions is around assessing product/market fit. Product/market fit is the idea that the product’s form and functionality meets the needs of the market. Fit isn’t an on/off item, rather it’s a continuum with various dimensions. And, for entrepreneurs without product/market fit, not much else matters.
Here are a few ideas for assessing product/market fit:
- Passionate Customers – If you told your customers that the product would be shut down tomorrow, how loud would they complain?
- Customer Requests – How well does the product solve the customer’s problems today in it’s current form as opposed to needing further customizations?
- Customer Referrals – Of the last 10 customers signed, how many referred another potential lead?
- Limited Product Issues – Of the last 10 customers signed, how many ran into product issues or bugs?
- Daily/Weekly Active Users – Do the customers use the product in a consistent daily or weekly fashion over an extended period of time (e.g. 4-6 weeks)?
Ultimately, assessing product/market fit is about assessing how much value customers are receiving from the product and the actions they are taking (e.g. regular usage, referrals, etc.). Product/market fit is the first critical milestone in the entrepreneurial journey.
What else? What are some more thoughts on assessing product/market fit?
2 thoughts on “Assessing Product/Market Fit”
NPS is another good measure for product/market fit. I also really enjoyed a talk by Brian Balfour recently about why “Product/Market fit” itself may not sufficient anymore and how we can refine the thinking around it: http://www.priceintelligently.com/blog/brian-balfour-saas-product-market-fit-is-wrong
All relevant points, I think with one needing clarity: I don’t think you should say “use the product in a consistent daily or weekly fashion” because it implies that THAT is the useful/expected utilization frequency and that anything slower is a negative sign. Rather, I think it should be “do they use the product at the expected frequency” Then you can imagine a product that is supposed to be used daily but is only used once a month – has problems. Our product is only used a few times a month so can’t be compared to a daily/weekly.