Product-market fit: A non-negotiable starting point

Eloquently stated by Openview Partners:

Before diving into PLG [product-led growth], we need to back up for a minute and acknowledge the importance of having a strong product-market fit. In a sense, it’s the combination of a strong product-market fit with a PLG strategy that provides the right conditions for virality to take hold.

“Finding product-market fit is not optional if you want to adopt a product led growth approach. You’ve got to get it right.”

There are three elements to product-market fit:

  1. The product
  2. Distribution
  3. Customers

Product-market fit is achieved when you have a product with a clear value proposition that resonates with customers whom you know how to reach and convert. In other words, build a great product that solves a real problem—and make sure you have a way to get it to the people who need it.

It sounds simple, but simple doesn’t always mean easy. There is no universal model for finding product-market fit because the number of variables makes each case unique. There are, however, plenty of common pitfalls including the lack of a market, a sub-par product, broken distribution systems, and any general misalignment between the three elements.

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