Problem, worth solving?

#1

Folks,

I think it is a common dilemma among founders, the obsession of product/market fit, I have been in pilot-mode for last 2 months, Putting many ‘awesome ideas’ on canvas only to find out that they actually sound terrible in reality and really not worth mine or my co-founder’s time. I have an open approach that if I am excited about an idea, I will do the analysis and idea validation before I put my heart and soul into it. In the last couple of weeks, I see a slight panic in my team (who are, just like me, highly motivated to make market-changing products) and a question is being raised over and over again as I have been rejecting all the possible ideas after my initial idea validation phase (even some of them failed on our basic lean canvas).

The question is if initial idea validation fails, can the product still be successful as long as it is open to change and evolves as per customer’s feedback?

ME: We should make products people want to use and not make a product and dump on people to use it
Alex: It is not a customer’s job to know what they want if we make something awesome they will come
ME: But what if they don’t?
Alex: We will change, the product will evolve.
ME: What if this requires, changing the whole product from initial idea to something else?
Alex: Sure, we will do that
ME: But why can’t we find that idea right now instead, to not to waste our time later?
Alex: We start, evolve and learn along the way
ME: I don’t disagree but I learnt from Pages, should not repeat the same mistakes and expect different results?
Alex: You are paranoid LOL

I wanted to know what you guys think :slight_smile: How much of product/market fit is enough FIT :rofl:

3 Likes
#2

This is basically our M.O. at Hacker Noon. We will change. The product will evolve.

You have to be willing to iterate. No idea survives first contact with actual customers. The difference between a failing company and a successful company, in my mind, is a willingness to iterate, to change, to improve based on customer feedback.

@Dane was the mind behind our original “manifesto” on iteration, so maybe he can give some feedback as well. :slight_smile: But I think I’ve summed it up well enough here. Get it out there! Try getting actual usage, and see what sticks and what dies upon impact, and if you improve upon that, your success will essentially be a function of cost, resources, and luck. You may end up with something totally different than what you started with, and that’s okay! I know this is easier said than done – I’ve co-founded two startups, one of which failed miserably, the other having a modest acquisition. In between, I’ve worked for several startups, some of which failed hard, some of which were modest successes. Maybe one was a unicorn-in-the-making (I won’t tell which :wink:). The point is, you never really know until you try it in the wild.

tl;dr no idea survives first exposure. Get real usage, iterate, and see what works! I promise, it’ll be better than wondering “what if”.

2 Likes
#3

PMF is a holy grail. I have never built the product after PMF. When I interviewed with Jay, Founder of VoiceBase, he said to me “Launch fast, evolve and evolve”. I totally agree. But it is a waste of time when you launch the wrong product.

1 Like
#4

@austin well put, would love to hear what @Dane has to say :slight_smile:

:exploding_head::exploding_head::+1:

Agree :slight_smile: Thanks for the kind words

1 Like
#5

Agree

That can be a tough pill to swallow :slight_smile: and I think all of us want to to avoid it

#6

HackerCorn

https://www.indiehackers.com/post/440a3172e7

Actually, I think I saw a spreadsheet, that have like different technologies with different problems and at intersecting cell there was a company - that occupy that market. maybe it’s a good tool for checking ideas.

I have some sort of validator myself:

  • I should use that product
  • I see promise(i always see promises)
  • this project should be interesting to my ex-cofounder-best-friend(we don’t talk right now but …)
  • i understand how to bring value(so common thing - actually bad point - because “assumptions is a mother of fuckups” - creator of Maxim magazine)
  • it should correlate with my prev. life interests(as a source of knowledge)

[it’s not a main reply that i’m preparing]

1 Like
#7

The validation phrase is not surefire. Sheer will power or resources or an external change to the market can overcome failed validation phases.

@Ali How do you go about validating business ideas?

1 Like
#8

new product just launched

@techmunch actually help to remember the name of tool, that i mentioned before. it’s a “Startup Idea Martix”
More:

#9

Wow this will be amazing to look at :slight_smile: thanks for sharing

1 Like