How to Find Product-Market Fit?

Alexey Shashkov
50 replies
Hey makers! I'm working on my early-stage SaaS product – an automatic landing page generator. Can you share your knowledge on finding a product-market fit? What should I do to find PMF? Any strategies? Any tips? Thanks!


Benoit Chambon
Talk with potential users facing the same problem :) give personal interviews to get their feeling. Stop automation ;)
Daniel Baum
@benoit_chambon Yup totally agree! @shashcoffe Keep iterating your product and speaking to users until the amount of inbound interest you have becomes overwhelming / is a problem... then you've hit PMF! From a KPI perspective, stabilized 40% retention is a great target!
Alexey Shashkov
@benoit_chambon Agreed, Benoit. I'm talking with potential users and doing interviews. But what do you mean about «Stop automation»?
Benoit Chambon
@shashcoffe I mean writing customized emails, not replicated messages so impersonal and which make the prospect feeling no-important ;) Getting your PMF starts with listening to potential users. How will they want to talk to you if you give them impression that you don't care? You see what I mean :)
Dave Bain
A big lesson I've learnt, is PMF is very dependent on 1) how well you understand the problem you're solving and 2) who you're solving it for and their feedback. 1. is about whether you're already an expert in that field, or not 2. is whether you have an audience, or need to build one. This is an ask so there first needs to be a lot of credibility for the audience to respond.
Debajit Sarkar
You can use these following steps to find product market fit for your product: (1) Use your target audience to define the buyer persona of your business. This information is useful in gaining a better knowledge of the client and how they make purchasing decisions. Moreover, if you target a certain audience your campaign will also reach the right people who will relate to your company's message and products. You can use google Analytics or Facebook Insights receive critical information needed to create a target audience. (2) Once you have gathered the required information be very specific about your vertical and focus completely on that vertical. Identify a gap in the market and target the people in that gap. For instance the gap that Spotify identified was offering access over ownership, data-driven customisation, and the ability to unbundle content (3) Identify crucial data elements that will aid in tracking the performance of your product. Start by identifying your total addressable market (TAM), otherwise known as the total number of people who can benefit from your product/service.
Bharat Pasam
You have to do it iteratively.
@shashcoffe @bharatpasam Haha, I love that, I'm gonna steal that phrase from now on :D
Lukas Haensch
Problem focused mindset - can you clearly articulate the problem in way that others actually agree and not only kind of. If we would start all over again --> Full focus on crystallising the problem
Jeremy Cleverly
Alexey - This is something we struggled with (and I think many others do as well) for quite some time. My suggestions would be to get as granular as possible in defining who you believe your early adopters would be - not just who you thing would benefit most from your product, but which group would benefit and is also likely to buy/adopt it. An approach we have taken is it use focus groups based on who we believe our early adopters will likely be to get their feedback on 1. What problem they are facing; 2. Whether our product solves that problem; and 3. How they would market our product to their peers if it were their company.
Mak Mo
Read "What Customers Want: Using Outcome-Driven Innovation to Create Breakthrough Products and Services Book by Anthony W. Ulwick" Good luck!
1. Release an MVP early. Listen to your users. If you get positive feedback, keep integrating that feedback into your product. 2. Measure retention. Make sure that users are sticking to your product, if not, do not focus on growth but instead fix the issues that are causing them to leave (try to ask them why the left). Finally, product-market fit is not a guarantee, it's not the "nth" part of a linear process; sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, and there is no shame in leaving an idea if it never reaches product-market fit (in fact, most never do).
Klaus-M. Schremser
When it comes to PMF, I trust the sources of a16z (Andreessen Horowitz) and how he explains that the market is the first thing that counts and later you should look at PMF Here's the source.
David J. Kim
I think all of this advice in the thread is great, but I do want to share this article that has measurable product market fit. In my opinion a lot of definitions for PMF aren't that useful, because you only "find out" after getting flooded with customers or having $10m in ARR which doesn't give you a clear path to get there. NPS is measurable very early.
Jareer Samad
Conducting qualitative interviews with potential customers helps to understand the problem space from multiple perspectives. I would recommend selling the product before it's complete. Commitment of money is the ultimate validation of product.
Alexey Shashkov
@jareer_samad Yeah totally agreed. Selling the product before it's complete is my dream) Thank you for your thoughts, Jareer!
Chris Ashby
P/M fit is one of the hardest things to find for an early-stage startup, but it doesn't have to be random and uncontrollable! Here's one of the best articles I've ever read about it here: It really helps explain product market fit in a way that can be quantified and measured. Hopefully this can help!
Michael Moss
Short interviews and small workshops helped me a lot. Workshops with early users helped me to understand better how the user works and why, while interviews pointed me in the direction I needed to go. 10-15mins per user is more than enough. (Just be prepared to ask the right questions etc.)
Lalit Tyagi
Tough questions. You initially should have the gut to feel on your product, go in the market take suggestions iterate and then again go. user is the best person to make your product PMF. So better go early and find out the use case and imply it. You need to have mind set to figure out what is noise in form of suggestion separate them and only focus on right points and suggestions
Carsten Pleiser
I'm in the same phase with and am spending my time speaking with users. I talk to users who ended up becoming paying customers as well as users who decided not to continue. It doesn't scale, but it's incredibly insightful.
Alexey Shashkov
@ckpleiser Carsten, yeah, I'm talking with my potential users too. I totally agree with you that it's incredibly insightful. I like the idea of Paperless. And I really love your simple and clear landing page. Which solution did you use for building that landing page?
Don't delegate sales too early to other people. Go to the field, pitch and onboard customers. Notice their pain-points. Then go and make changes to your product accordingly. The faster you do it, the faster you achieve PMF
Dwayne Charrington
Other answers are very agreeable, but I would like to emphasize that one of the best ways to achieve product-market-fit is to conduct surveys with your targeted audience. I read in an answer that you are conducting interviews, and that’s really going to help you out. With that, you can also try to add online surveys that you can publish on your prototype. This way, you can have your interview participants use your prototype and answer a few pop-up one-question surveys you placed at different touchpoints. You can collect such diverse feedback on UI, ease-of-use, overall performance, and more. Tools like @qualaroo feedback software allow you to add surveys to prototypes and offer templates of multiple types of surveys. It’s not just about collecting responses as well; you can use its Sentiment Analysis feature to analyze the written open-ended responses as it creates reports for easy analysis. So, you can check it out if it’s something that interests you.
Alexey Shashkov
@dwayne_charrington1 Hey Dwayne! Is Qualaroo your product?