“I’ve got this awesome product, it’s going to be a game changer! I launched a month ago, but I need your help getting more users”. Uh-oh.
When we hear this, we really know what they’re saying is, “I had this awesome idea that I thought was going to make money, so I ran with it, without knowing if I had product-market fit and now no-one is buying it”
The foundation for growth is having product-market fit. Knowing your product meets the need of the market it serves is the prerequisite before growth hacking strategies can really be implemented. However, determining product-market fit or how much you have can be difficult. This is especially true in the pre-launch phase.
First of all, do you know you have a market? Secondly, is it a decent sized market with a lot of users that have an unmet need? If yes, then you at least have the foundation for future growth.
Now, as Sean Ellis, the first person to coin ‘growth hacking’ would say, if you asked your market if they’d be very disappointed if your product or service was no longer available, would at least 40% say yes? If so, then you have product-market fit. Any percentage less than that you are either much lower on the spectrum or just don’t have it.
But before you can get to asking that question you’ll need to run experiments on the value of the product, BEFORE you invest too much time and money into it.
To test your value hypothesis start with an MVP (minimum viable product) and find a few early adopter users. This phase will take a few iterations as your hypothesis is proven incorrect, before you finally nail it. When you do, you are much more prepared for your growth hypothesis to acquire and retain users. You will have learned who your market is and what they really care about, the features and functionality you need to build, and the business-model that most suits the audience.
As Product-market fit is not black and white but rather sits on a spectrum, by refining the value proposition it can be improved. Hence market research and hypothesis testing is key. And only once you know where you sit, can you start testing your growth hypothesis.Monday, 11 May 2020