Building momentum too often fails not because of drive but because lack of product/market fit.
How often do we launch new SaaS products to see a flat line that just won’t go up? We were super excited – but the market wasn’t. People don’t see why they should spend money on our product.
I often see a misconception about what product/market fit is all about.
To dig into that, let’s clarify what product/market fit means. Here’s my definition: You achieve Product-market fit when your product solves a specific problem in such a way that a large enough segment of the market is happy to pay a premium for it.
That last part is essential: willingness to pay a premium. So it needs to go beyond what everyone expected to be the bare minimum. It doesn’t mean a minimum viable product (MVP) cannot be the start of a solid product market fit. Instead, it’s how you go about defining it.
Let me share a quote from Chris Dial, CEO of Salutare. I asked him about what he believes is critical to get right in your MVP:
MVP doesn’t mean you have a full product and you’re just doing 20% of all the features. That’s a misconception most of us fall into. MVP to me is this: We have five areas of the product. We do these two very well today; the rest are just getting by or absent. But market value is driven by those two things. We want a decent experience for those two things, and then everything else can be light (for now). (Quote starts at 32,35 mark)
Here’s the thing
Building for Product/Market fit (even if it’s your MVP) is about taking the standpoint of your ideal customer – what are the essential things they need to solve a problem that’s valuable and critical to them in a way that exceeds their expectation compared to their alternative(s)?
No one says you have to deliver the end-to-end suite. Just solve that one problem in a remarkable way. Then focus on solving the next.
If we take that standpoint, more product or module launches will create predictable traction from the start.
Question for you to reflect upon
If you critically look at the next feature on your roadmap that you’re planning to launch soon: what’s the likelihood that customers will pay a premium for that?
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