I just finished Michael Karnjanaprakorn’s (Co-Founder and CEO of Skillshare) hybrid class called “Reaching the Startup Holy Grail: Product-Market Fit” and wanted to write and share my takeaways from the class.
Customer development should take place continually over the life of a company, especially until reaching product-market fit. After launching and acquiring initial users, some good customer development questions include:
- How disappointed would you be if you couldn’t use the product anymore?
- What were your motivating factors for using the product or making a purchase?
- How likely are you to continue using the product? Why?
- Why are you using the product as opposed to other solutions?
- What do you dislike about the product?
- What do you love about the product? What makes it a must-have product?
- What could make your experience better?
Key metrics to look at in measuring product-market fit:
- Growth in usage of the product
- Repeat users / total users
It’s less important to look at vanity metrics such as as total users or total pageviews.
User Acquisition / Product-Market Fit
Find product-market fit before putting more effort into user acquisition. Upon launching a product, I would aim to get a small initial user base and spend as much time talking to them as possible and developing the product accordingly before making significant user acquisition efforts. (CAC/CLV for distribution channels should probably be validated as well.)
In the office hours video, Michael explained that he was learning about reaching product-market fit at the same time he was teaching the class. I really like the idea of using teaching as a “quest” for learning and the blending of teachers and students as one group helping each other as well as the idea of the teacher being simply a curator of the massive amounts of free publicly available educational content.
A lot more was covered in the class, but those were my takeaways.
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