Why Product Market Fit is More Crucial Than the Fit of Your Underwear

It’s damn uncomfortable to be wearing the wrong size of underwear. But not nearly as uncomfortable as running a business that doesn’t have clearly defined product market fit.

That’s because poor product market fit is one of the biggest reasons that startups fail.

Product Market Fit

Essentially, product market fit is selling something your market wants.

Great product market fit is selling snow cones at a warm sunny beach. Poor fit? Snow cones at the ski hill.

Great product market fit happens when there is a strong demand. The company’s target customers are buying, using, and telling others about the company’s product in numbers large enough to sustain that product’s growth and profitability.

How to Get it Right

It’s not enough to assume product market fit. For example, the Ford Edsel flopped because it was offering consumers a large gas guzzler when the average driver was looking for something smaller and more economical. (The Edsel only lasted a few years before being scrapped, with losses to the tune of $350 million.)

Companies who start with a minimum viable product – and get feedback from early adopters – mitigate the risk of significant investment in a new product or service.

A Great Fitting Product Still Needs Marketing

Product market fit isn’t everything.

Ideally, you’re selling something that someone wants to buy (so you don’t have to work very hard to convince them).

Once you have that, you still need solid marketing, which starts with great positioning.


Your Customers Are the Experts

Ultimately, the best way to determine product market fit, and positioning, is to talk to your customers. There’s no substitute for those conversations.

Ultimately, you may find that your product is not a good fit – but will be with just a few tweaks.

Greatest Hits

This week in our Facebook group we discuss how to build a business by following proven processes.

Bright Ideas

If you do sales, are you using tech to support the process?

Check out 30 of the top tools that sales teams are using right now, plus how to choose the right tools for different aspects of your sales process.

Under the Hood

Recently, I shared 5 Early Wins that helped us acquire Flowster’s first 5,000 users.

However, there’s not a business owner out there who hasn’t also had their fair share of failures. Well, perhaps there is one – but I don’t know her. 

You might be familiar with the stat that Thomas Edison made over 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at a light bulb before he found one that works.

Here’s hoping I don’t need to hit 1,000 failures. But, I have had plenty. In addition to early wins, I plan to share about the 5 biggest mistakes we’ve made so far – and how each has cost us dearly.

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