Product Market Fitment

How to figure out the symptoms of product market fitment for startups.

A common question that most founders struggle with is: How do I know if we achieved product market fit (PMF)?

Here is my perspective 👇

As a maker (design + product), my life revolves around three things: Man (Customer), Machine (Product) and Market.

A thriving business typically understands their customers and their market really well. Based on the above understanding, they craft their product(s) with utmost care. It is a dynamic and a continuous process. There is no Big Bang in this process. It is a bunch of small tweaks and adjustments over a period of time that gives rise to a thriving business.

So PMF also is not a discrete magical moment in a business. It happens over a period of time.

Here is my checklist to figure out PMF for any business.

  1. Before thinking about product market fit make sure you have a problem solution fit. In other words your business has found a customer problem (so painful) for which you have a solution (painkiller).
  2. Is your customer bringing in new customers? In other words are your customers becoming your sales people?
  3. Do you have at-least 100 paying customers right now or have done USD 100,000 in sales so far?
  4. Are you profitable when you make a sale or you compromise on profitability to make a sale?
  5. Is the growth killing you and you are struggling to keep up with the customer demands?
  6. Your bank balance is growing and you feel like hiring marketing and sales staff as you are unable to handle the customer calls on a daily basis.
  7. Your competitor's customers come to you and bring more of their friends to you.
  8. You feel like overhauling your product constantly. You find ways to make it better and you do on an everyday basis and rollout the upgrades to your customers regularly.
  9. Your customers come to you with more wants regularly. You feel like making new products for their wants. You try hard to satisfy the wants in your existing product and you succeed sometimes and fail sometimes.
  10. Your non-customers are enquiring about your product and press wants to schedule interviews with you.

When the product is pulled out of your startup and the market responds to your barely functional product vigorously, you found your product market fit and as a founder you wonder there is so much to do and this is not it. 💪