Win at all costs early. Don't procrastinate on product-market fit.
As long as you don't have it you're on life support. Even if it doesn't feel that way.
Win at all costs early, not when your runway starts to run out.
When you try to find product-market fit, procrastination in the business sense will kill your business.
Ask yourself daily "am I focussing all my efforts and those of the team on finding the ultimate retention? Finding my ICP?"
The lure is always there to do something else.a
- Optimize that idea we implemented 3 months ago
- Slowly building a new channel because that might be a good early investment.
I have a suspicion that the effort to look for product-market fit is increased the shorter your runway is. But founders understand what their problem is, they just underestimate how serious it is. And they don't like dealing with it.
- You constantly bang your head on the wall "what's wrong with our product?
- Who is the right customer whom we also have a right to win?
- Why does it all feel like we are in the same place as 4 months ago?
Having PMF but no GTM-fit
Investors can help you in some way with the go-to-market fit if you don't know how to distribute. But finding PMF? That's the hardest part of the product, why should anyone without your domain expertise be able to do anything about that?
That means if an investor is looking at what you have then they might give you money for a strong retaining product. A good distribution model with a crappy product? No way.
If (heavily simplified) your 8-week retention isn't above 15% you shouldn't do anything else than figure out what's wrong.
The best products grow 18x than the average in their category. (Source: Mixpanel). This growth is only defensible if there is a great retention pattern. If you're leaking the people right out it doesn't matter whether your CMO has a cool growth hack to bring 10k users on your platform.
Most of them left you in 3 months again.
Yes, it’s the same for B2B / Enterprise sellers
You might lean back in your chair if you made it this far.
"Well, that is not our problem. We don't have that many customers. We do B2B, our clients probably stay for years before we know whether they leave"
You acquired customers that give you money, and influence your product management (with their demands). Due to their low number, they are a bad feedback stream on top.
I've started to advise these B2B sellers to move a bit down-market whenever possible even if it hurts the CAC. Why? Higher usage numbers for better data visibility. Even if you need to discount your ticket the feedback you get might be incredibly valuable.
If you solve their problem really well and they are on a growth trajectory your 50k ticket will grow anyways into 6 digits. If you set up the contract smart that is.
So, are you doing all you can to build a scalable foundation?
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