Recently I was talking to an entrepreneur about his journey. Four years ago they started out knowing exactly what was going to be successful: a specific training product that his last employer could really use. Only, things didn’t go according to plan. It turns out that the employer didn’t actually want the product. The perceived pain was the typical nice-to-have and not the critical must-have.
From there, they pivoted to the a related idea. Failure.
Next, it was another adjacent idea. Failure.
Finally, on the fourth pivot, and 3+ years of work, they started to hear feedback from customers that this new product solved a crucial problem. Success. Product/market fit was achieved quickly and the startup is now scaling nicely.
The early years of a startup is about surviving. A conversation here, an innovation there, and with enough customer discovery and iterations, finally finding a market opportunity. Make sure and survive in order to thrive.