The product-market fit

The cool thing about working on making a startup work is that every day you come into contact with so many new things to learn. There’s always new things you have to read up on, new technologies to understand, new issues to solve and the large variety of challenges that pop up make the great business thinking books we have around on the internet and in bookstores all so much more interesting and relevant!

Business Model Generation

Business Model Generation

It’s really amazing to note that I’m probably going through business articles and books at a quicker rate than I was when I was still in business school!

As i’m working on a technology-related startup, articles on technology and business all look so relevant to me and I really have a good time everyday reading up on all the wonderful material I have around me! It also pays to be surrounded with awesome friends who share what they learn in the business world with me as well!

So I’ll just get down to sharing the two most important lessons I’ve learnt over the past few weeks, shall I?

The two lessons are:

1. A startup’s main focus in the early stages is product-market fit, not scaling.

2. In today’s cluttered world, focusing on radical (not your typical run-of-the-mill) differentiation is a necessity.

Today, let’s spend a little bit of time talking about product-market fit (we’ll talk about radical differentiation some other day)!

Product-Market Fit

As someone who has great dreams of creating a world-changing, profitable startup, I can understand the urge to want to grow your startup up big real fast through securing venture capital, hiring a large sales team and broadcasting it to every single person you possibly can as quick as humanly possible.

Sounds like just the thing to do with that bright idea you just had right? Just scale it up as big as possible in the shortest possible time frame?

Well, that’s completely true if… the many, many assumptions you made about reality in your business plan were all accurate. And the odds are that you probably have a couple of glaring mistakes in the model somewhere.

And just how do startups work on getting those assumptions right? Not by just looking at research papers and reports, mind you, but mainly through real-world-experimentation. Yup, that’s what you gotta do – prototype and start experimenting with your idea as soon as possible as the market’s the only true judge of your business plan! Doing anything else – planning for an IPO, purchasing large amounts of machinery and all are all going to be for naught if the model isn’t validated by the only thing that should ever validate (or invalidate) a business plan – the market itself.

If you have an idea, just get out there and test it as cheaply and as quickly as possible. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Don’t get caught up with over-thinking, over-analysis and fear. Just go and do. That’s some pretty good advice that I really need to take myself.

Keepin’ those fingers crossed.

  1. #1 by Florian Longnos on October 31, 2011 - 5:51 pm

    good job with your blog, you have pretty interesting articles there. Have you heard about Angry Bird? Only with a small (and quite useless for me) app, they made it big. So with yours, it will work for sure if you follow the good path ^^

  2. #2 by Minsi on November 9, 2011 - 12:52 am

    Hey Kevin, stumbled upon your blog via LinkedIn.. Heard from Nic u are starting a business so really, all the best!

    Anw, with regards to the experimentation, its really true.. The recent product development trend follows the 90-10 rule: develop 90% of the product and let the market shape its remaining 10%. While research used to precede development, it seems that both can be done concurrently today. Looking forward to seeing your product on the market soon!

  3. #3 by Kevin Chan on November 9, 2011 - 1:00 am

    Thank you so much for sharing and your very kind words of encouragement! Doing our best to do the best of both worlds – to both get the marketing and engineering done the very best way we can! Will do our best and will be extremely happy to share any good news with you!

  4. #4 by Kevin Chan on November 9, 2011 - 1:02 am

    Thank you so much for posting! Have definitely ated angry birds and if we can even come close – it would already be a crazy success already! Really working towards doing that!

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