Fake Product Market Fit: The Signs!

You either have a product market fit or you build fake metrics to get there (even unintentionally). But then, how can one be truthful towards PMF and not get into the fakeness of it?
Great perspective by Indus.
» NextBigWhat’s #Threadmill brings you curated Twitter threads on product, life and growth.

Got lucky to attend @mwseibel’s @SaaStrAnnual session: How Not to die after raising your seed round. 😰

@QuolumHQ raised seed less than a year ago. Very few days I sleep w/o the macabre thought that startups that haven’t PMF-ed are like a candle in a wind tunnel. 🕯️

A 🧵…

0/5 Startups die because of:
– Fake Product-Market fit
– Investor becomes boss
– Co-Founder conflict
– Becoming ordinary rather than extra-ordinary
– Slow product development
1/5 Signs of fake PMF:
– lots of hiring
– lots of biz users than engineers
– no dashboards
– too many nice things: culture, team dinners, offsites, parties, famous angels, famous VCs 😂😂😂
– flat graphs
– changing KPIs
1/5 Preventing fake PMF:
– honest KPIs
– capping the burn
– retention metrics
– consider raising less money in seed 🤔
– strong tech co-founder
– force revenue to pay for expenses beyond capped burn
– learn about the bad investments of famous investors 🤷
2/5 Signs of Investor becoming Boss
– empowering investors to tell you what to do
– false assumption that there is a 100% repeatable path to victory
– lack of talking to customers leading to more talking to investors
– hiring faster -> getting aligned with investors on wrong KPIs
3/5 Co-founder conflict causes:
– weak prior relationship
– no clear R&R
– lack of trust
– unrealistic expectations
– too much relationship debtFixes:
– have tough conversation
– have clear R&R

4/5 Ordinary vs extra-ordinary cause:
– copy-pasting things from others and expecting insane successFailure rate amongst startup is so high that if you are not extra-ordinary, everybody else will fail

4/5 Prevent slipping towards ordinary:
– create a Jedi-council
– set measurable goals
– habit formation (read: atomic habits by @JamesClear )
– get better: every day, every quarter
5/5 Slow product development causes:
– no process
– no sprints, no deadlines
– no written specs
– engineers are not involved in product dev
– no metrics
– no customer interactions
– bad co-founder relationships
– low-quality product founder
– low-quality technical founder
5/5 Slow product development signs:
– deadlines are missed
– release schedule is quarterly or longer
– discouraged engineering team
– half-done features
5/5 Slow product development fixes:
– follow dev cycle (read: @mwseibel’s product dev cycle)
– process to take many shots
– qualitative + quantitative feedback
– write specs
– use prodmgmt s/w
– give everybody access to data
– release on time
– manage team’s motivation (<- big)

Read more posts on Entrepreneurship and Product Market Fit here. For podcasts, click here!

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