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Miniseries: Founder-Product-Market Fit

Tech billionaire Naval Ravikant says you need a founder/product/market fit (instead of the more famous concept product/market fit developed and named by Andy Rachleff, who is currently the CEO and co-founder of Wealthfront, and is a co-founder of Benchmark Capital) in order to get exponential results for your efforts. Right people working on right products for the right market.

Product/market fit means being in a good market with a product that can satisfy the market needs.

You can build a product that satisfies the market, but if that market sucks, you won’t be building a great business. Focus on finding a good market.

“When a great team meets a lousy market, market wins. When a lousy team meets a great market, market wins. When a great team meets a great market, something special happens.” “If you address a market that really wants your product — if the dogs are eating the dog food — then you can screw up almost everything in the company and you will succeed. Conversely, if you’re really good at execution but the dogs don’t want to eat the dog food, you have no chance of winning.” Andy Rachleff

If there’s a good market and product that satisfies the need of the market, paired with the right founders, this is the place where the magic happens. Great founders love what they do – building a business is hard work, and if you are doing something in an industry you don’t really care for, it’s going to be excruciating getting up in the morning to do the necessary work. You will have competitors who love that industry and business they are in. They will have more stamina than you have, as they like what they do.

Finding a founder/product/market fit is crucial.

“You can always feel when product/market fit isn’t happening. The customers aren’t quite getting value out of the product, word of mouth isn’t spreading, usage isn’t growing that fast, press reviews are kind of ‘blah’, the sales cycle takes too long, and lots of deals never close. And you can always feel product/market fit when it’s happening. The customers are buying the product just as fast as you can make it — or usage is growing just as fast as you can add more servers. Money from customers is piling up in your company checking account. You’re hiring sales and customer support staff as fast as you can. Reporters are calling because they’ve heard about your hot new thing and they want to talk to you about it. You start getting entrepreneur of the year awards from Harvard Business School. Investment bankers are staking out your house. You could eat free for a year at Buck’s.” – Marc Andreessen