Facebook focused on Harvard, Foursquare focused on New York and StackOverflow focused on programmers. In fact, StackOverflow’s growth and moving on to the cooking category from the programming category is a great case study. Apparently, programmers love to cook a lot!
When users interact with our products they experience how it works. The users will find the commitment towards the product if it fits just fine with the user expectations while they are trying to achieve their goal.
Our contention is that entrepreneurs should demonstrate product-market fit before investing in scaling up. In the Indian context, where new web services are cloned on a weekly basis, waiting to get to product-market fit can be difficult to do. Founders may feel pressured to scale prematurely, justifying this decision with reasons such as “it’s a land-grab” or “first-mover advantage”.
None of the CEO’s actually used the product. Every time they wanted data from our system, they’d just call the sales rep and ask him for information. We showed them how easy it was for them to look up the information on their cell phone, but they’d still call and “chat up” the rep, share more information about their business, their issues, etc.
User centric products survive in the market because they create dependency on the end user’s front.
Note that this does not require the product to be perfect or ‘complete’ but it does require that the limited set of features and functionality work well and support the core use case.
Given the overabundance of content on the web, consumers are attracted to websites, networks and forums with a high signal-to-noise ratio. Attention grabbing (through promoted posts and the like), if not done right, threatens to increase the noise.
Small, incremental changes are acceptable (maybe) but large ones, take time. So lets push a simple small change to the user (customer) and see their reaction.
“Just get the users, we’ll worry about making money later” has become a cliché of sorts in the consumer internet world. It’s part of the reason why anyone outside the industry doesn’t understand the workings of venture capital but it is also largely the reason why a lot of pointless ideas get funded.
If you go after an awesome market – growing fast, has excellent demand and a great growth curve, then you’ve got 90% product-market fit, even though technically 50% of the challenge in any startup is coming up with a good product.