To begin, product-market fit means that your product, on all fronts, meets the needs of your customers.
To achieve this, you must first identify your most important assumptions and hypotheses. Once you have done this, you need to conduct preliminary experiments. These experiments include the following:
- Opening a blog to publicise your product and learn from feedback.
- Visiting online discussion forums such as Reddit and Quora to ask open-ended questions, and gather feedback
- Creating surveys using tools such as SurveyMonkey
- Creating a landing page and collecting pre-orders for your product
- Creating and running test advertisements on social media channels such as Facebook and LinkedIn
As you begin to get feedback on your Minimum Viable Prototype (MVP), compare it to your initial hypotheses. If you are correct, congratulations. If there are discrepancies, then it’s time for you to change strategy or ‘pivot.’
Unlike conventional businesses, pivoting isn’t evidence of failure in entrepreneurship – it’s a sign of progress. Oftentimes, a successful startup doesn’t hit on an effective business model until after Plan A, Plan B and even Plan C fails.
The important thing is to ensure that you control your financial outlay, and the time and effort required to run the business until you achieve product-market fit. You know you have achieved product-market fit when your target market has adopted your product and is willing to use it and/or pay for it consistently.
- Brainstorm your assumptions and convert ten of these assumptions into key product-market hypotheses to be tested
- Run tests to prove the validity of your hypotheses
- Be willing to change strategy or ‘pivot’ if feedback from users suggests another direction until you achieve product-market fit.
Creating a product that your customers cannot live without doesn’t happen in a day. The process requires active listening, tweaking, re-tweaking, patience and dedication.