Manage episode 339024264 series 3383733
In this episode we answer questions submitted by founders just like you, including:
- How do you know when you’ve found Product/Market Fit?
- How do you know when it’s time to pivot? Or that you just haven’t spent enough time on your existing strategy?
- How far in the future should you be planning?
You can submit questions for us to answer on our website https://www.thestartuphelpdesk.com/ or on Twitter @thestartuphd - we'd love to hear from you!
Q1: How do you know when you’ve found Product/Market Fit?
- Oh, you’ll know!
- It’s when the business is pulling you forward, instead of you pushing it
- Typically, it means you’re adding customers/users faster than is comfortable
- Use a framework where you look at Buyer, Use Case, Price, and Channel
- Referrals - rate of referral per user - ask them how they found you. At least 50% - ie 1 referral for every 2 customers.
- NPS - out of 10 - but do calc properly - over 50
- Engagement - DAU, not weekly - at least 2-3 times a week. 5x7 ideal.
- Feature requests - people want more, trust and more money - 10% of base asking for more
- Grateful emails - great inbound emails coming in from customers that love you. Very motivating for the team
Q2: How do you know when it’s time to pivot? Or that you just haven’t spent enough time on your existing strategy?
- This is the hardest decision to make as there is no objective criteria
- If you started from a great problem this is a lot easier.
- Are you still excited? Are there promising experiments you can run?
- Revisit this decision every few months
Your strategy to go from 0-1 almost always requires more work than you initially think. You should expect it to be very difficult to acquire your first customers. You should expect your first product to be filled with issues.
That being said, you still need to see some objective evidence that you are on the right track. For example, if you have paying customers that keep wanting more, and they say they cannot live without your solution, that’s a good sign.
Q3: How far in the future should you be planning?
Focus on the short term. A big vision is great, but startup plans 1+ year out are just an exercise and will be a miles from reality.
- 2 weeks - weekly make it hard to make progress,
- 1 month - monthly goals good central structure for whole company
- 3 months - best for measuring real growth - volatility
- 1 year - max distance
- After that lol - only for investors
It is important to set objective milestones: that’s the only way you can measure your progress towards achieving your long-term roadmap.
Objective milestones can include:
- Customer growth goals
- Product goals
- Hiring goals
- Only feature milestones: a bad sign
Evaluate your progress regularly, define your next incremental advancements, and confirm long-term alignment.