Which startup process do you think is the best to achieve product market fit?

Yusuf Ali
8 replies
When it comes to achieving product-market fit there is nothing more effective than talking to customers, however, it seems like there are different ways to approach Users. The YC way, where you build an MVP -> launch early -> talk to customers -> iterate till you find PMF -> scale. (Airbnb, Doordash..etc) The Lean startup, on the other hand, focuses more on understanding the problem/solution fit first then build an MVP to validate PMF then to scale. Their flow is like: talk to customers, validate the problem-> talk to customers, validate the solution -> build MVP sell to the customers -> build product to scale. What are your thoughts on this?

Replies

Founder @ Bloom
IMO, it's the same thing. The YC way just implies that the problem is viable, while the LS isn't too quick to assume that, because founders often pick problems no one cares about (I'm guilty of that too). Hope it helps!
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Helping founders succeed
Hi @youssif_maxzoom I think both approaches have merit. I even like Ash Maurya's lean canvas which makes lean startup alot more practical. But ultimately your approach will always depend on your market, customers, solution, environment, etc.. I think the most important take away from all these approaches would be the need to talk to your customers. Whether you validate the customer problem upfront or validate it through an MVP, you still need to continue engaging your customer. And remember, PMF is not a destination, but rather a state of being What makes you have PMF today will be different a year from now as markets change. Or what makes you have PMF for your early adopters may differ to when you scale to larger audiences. But through each phase or stage of your startup, you have to keep your customer at the beginning, middle and end of it.
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Founder @ Look-see
I think they are essentially the same. An MVP doesn't need to be a piece of software, even if that's the ultimate goal. The YC process also assumes that you are an expert in the field of question and that you are 100% solving a problem that you have. For anything else you should talk to customers a ton before writing a single line of code, or producing a tangible product that you can hand to users.
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Design director @ Humbleteam
@brandon_kindred1 agree 100%, an MVP can be a simple Squarespace based landing page with just an offer and a button saying "join the waitlist".
YC SUS grad 2018
@brandon_kindred1 @krasotin I strongly disagree! I think you are confused between a landing page and an MVP!
Design director @ Humbleteam
@brandon_kindred1 @youssif_maxzoom I'd say it depends on what you want to understand with the MVP. If it's market demand — than the landing should work just fine.
Founder @ Look-see
@krasotin @youssif_maxzoom Not really. It depends on your product. At the end of the day a minimum viable product is just that, the minimum. Personally, I think going with manual processes and validating that you are solving a problem that people will pay for before you start going about creating a tangible product that they can use themselves is incredibly important. Most of the highly successful companies I know of started out doing the work manually and went about putting together a tangible product after they already had a couple clients. In many cases they used a landing page, that funneled into a sales process that created clients for a 100% manual process. It's a fairly effective strategy for learning fast and early.
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Design director @ Humbleteam
@youssif_maxzoom @brandon_kindred1 Agree, I wouldn't mention the landing pages example if I didn't work with startups, who successfully closed preseed and seed rounds without the product at all, all they had was a userbase and a prooved demand for the certain service. A great example from projects I worked on is a US bank called Cogni (https://www.crunchbase.com/organ...) — just check how they got first rounds much much earlier than they released the first version of the app in the App
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