Bad Product-Market Fit

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Last updated 22 Nov 12:44

TL;DR

When market does not want your product, it means you are done. Achieving a product-market fit is the goal of every business.

What Is a Bad Product-Market Fit

Bad product-market fit means that the market does not want your product. It is crucial to achieve a product-market fit. It is the main goal for every company. If the company does not find the product-market fit in a reasonable time period, it could mean a bankrupt. A bad product-market fit basically means that the customers are not satisfied with your product. Mark Andreessen, a co-founder of a Silicon Valley company Andreessen Horowitz, defined the term product-market fit as "being in a good market with a product that can satisfy that market."

Product-market fit
Source: Product-market fit

Reasons for the Bad Product-Market Fit

Why so many companies spend all their money but never find a product-market fit?

  • The product cannot cover the whole customer segment. It can also overlap into a different segment. It fails its purpose.
  • The customer segment is undersized. The company can have a great product but when too many people use it, the product can malfunction.
  • The product does not bring as much money as expected. The company misjudged the customer segment.
  • Too much time and money spent on technologies. The company is too focused on developing something technologically perfect and forgets to get customer's feedback.
  • The customer segment is oversized. The company cannot reach its market because the segment is too small.
  • A company that once had a huge success is now bankrupted and gone. Their customer segment still exists but they do not care about the product anymore. The company did not notice that the market has changed and could not follow. They stopped innovating and it killed them.

Do you remember once gigantic company Kodak? It used to be a synonym for photography. The irony of the fall of this empire is that Kodak actually invented the first digital camera in 1975. They just never saw the future in digital photographs and did not believe that it will bring a revolution in photography. They saw their market declining but believed that the customers will overcome this period. They misjudged the customer segment and did not innovate - that was like signing their own death sentence.

  • Design Sprint or Lean Canvas are tools that can help you find a product-market fit.
  • If you achieve a product-market fit, it does not mean that you won. You have to keep looking for signs that your customer segment is changing. Regular surveys and tracking the customers' feedback is a way to keep track.

Resources For the Product-Market Fit