Product-market fit is when you create the right product for the right audience.
Every new startup is in search of it.
It’s probably the single most important thing you should be focusing on if you haven’t found it yet.
Some might even argue that it’s a never ending search.
It’s hard enough to find as it is, but I realized there’s another component that we don’t talk about but is just as important. Sorry.
Your Team Has to Be Right
You can build the perfect product for the perfect audience, but if you aren’t the right team to do it, you’ll never be a great company.
I learned this lesson from experience. We’ve built a few products at Feast that worked. They definitely solved a problem for an audience but not to the extent we needed in order to build a successful company.
It was because we weren’t the right team to do it.
For example, we focused on ingredient delivery in our early days. We sold a number of subscriptions where we’d deliver a box of ingredients to your home along with a sweet recipe. By most standards, we validated the product-market fit. The continued success of companies like Plated and Blue Apron further validates that there is a demand for that kind of product. The reality we faced, however, was that it wasn’t a good fit for our team.
It wasn’t a fit for our team for 2 reasons:
1. While it solved a problem, it didn’t solve the problem that we set out to solve.
2. We were never going to be the best logistics company in the world. Trucking and warehousing wasn’t what we lived and breathed.
You have to truly believe in your product.
If you can’t be the best at what you’re doing, you can be a good company but you’ll never be great, as Jim Collins proved in Good to Great (affil link).
So while we’re partnering with ingredient delivery services today and in the future to provide that value to our customers, it’s not the fundamental problem we’re solving.
Does your product solve a real problem for real people, and are you the best team to make it happen?
Then you have yourself the foundation of a great company.