Achieving Product-Market Fit

Achieving Product-Market Fit

Achieving Product-Market Fit. Here are a few practical suggestions for achieving product-market fit. Read on to understand each of the suggestions.

Determine who you want to sell to.

Determine unmet customer needs.

Define what you want to achieve with your value proposition.

Create a feature set for your Minimum Viable Product (MVP).

Make a prototype for your MVP.

Customers can help you test your MVP.

Now, let’s look deeper into each of the tips.

Determine who you want to sell to

The best way to find out who your customers are is to talk to them.” They say that if you can’t talk to them, then it’s a good idea to try and figure out what they care about. If you can’t do either of those, then you have a problem.

I think this is an important point because most entrepreneurs (myself included) make the mistake of trying to define the product first and then determine who the market is later. Typically this means we end up building products for users that don’t exist or don’t want what we’re building.

Define unmet customer needs

If you can’t figure out what your potential customer cares about, then how will you know how to build something they’ll want? If you do know what they care about, then how will you know if you are building something they’ll use? Start with a hypothesis about what your customers care about and then validate it by building an MVP (discussed below).

An MVP can help you discover if there’s an opportunity in terms of money and time invested. But it won’t tell you if there’s a big enough opportunity in terms of money and time invested relative to competitors. That’s where sales come into play.

Create a feature set for your MVP

A feature set is the set of features that you are going to build for your minimum viable product. You will usually iterate on this feature set as you continue to build your product.

The goal of the MVP is to ultimately test your value proposition or hypothesis that there is a market need you can satisfy. You discover this through market validation, not through the perfection of the feature set.

Make a prototype for your MVP

This is where a lot of entrepreneurs have issues. They have a bunch of ideas in their head about what they want to build and they just don’t know where to start. Well, there’s no magic formula, but here are a couple of ideas: you can work with a professional developer or you can code your MVP yourself.

If you code it yourself, I recommend that you use the Ruby on Rails framework. If you work with a developer, make sure he/she is willing to be nimble and modify your MVP as you learn more about your market.

There’s no better way to learn than to get something out there and start getting feedback. Furthermore, I’ve found that working with a professional developer who can code an MVP quickly is the best way to find a product-market fit.

When I worked with my first developer to build an MVP in the real estate space, we were able to iterate through several versions until we got it right by talking directly with potential customers and building something useful for them.

Customers can help you test your MVP

Customer interviews are one of the most important things entrepreneurs do when building a startup. The information you gain from customer interviews will shape every aspect of your business including how you plan to scale, how you position yourself against competitors, how much you charge for your services, and how much time you spend on each task.

Customer interviews are also essential if you want to achieve product-market fit because they will help you identify what features people want most in your MVP, help guide roadmaps for future development, and help determine which customers are going to buy your product or service at what price point and why they would pay that price point.

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