Newsletter #58: Product Market Fit

February 15, 2021

“If the customer doesn’t scream, you don’t have product market fit“
– Andy Rachleff –
Product Market Fit Guru

Happy Friday,

Whilst there might be a few things in the world distracting us from our day jobs, CTO Academy are here to provide some light relief with the latest instalment of our “5 Minute Tech Break”.

This week we look at Product:Market Fit which iscrucial for an early stage company to discover asap but also, for more established companies who want to avoid building products that no-one wants.

Hopefully something here for all to enjoy ….

Thanks as ever to those of you getting in touch about some of the topics we’ve covered in the past. We want to make these newsletters as relevant as possible to the management challenges you face so please get in touch with any questions or feedback. 

We’d love to hear from you … particularly during our self isolation!!

Stay safe this weekend and catch up on those Netflix boxsets.

Andrew Weaver
CEO & Co-founder

Awesome Interview


What is Product Market Fit & When To Pivot?

Andy Rachleff didn’t coin the phrase “Product:Market Fit” but he’s often viewed as the doyen of the process itself.

From 1995 until 2004 he was a co-founder and General Partner of Benchmark Capital, has since joined the faculty at Stanford Graduate School and launched a tech driven, wealth management start up.

But it’s his insight about PMF and how/when to pivot that’s particularly worth listening too and here he is being interviewed on the Tim Ferris Show.Listen Here


And if you prefer the written form …

Andy is interviewed again here via a Q&A format which looks at 12 Things About Product-Market Fit

1. Why market matters more than anything?
2. What exactly is PMF?
3. The process behind PMF
4.  How can you tell whether you do (or don’t) have PMF?
5. ‘Satisfy the market’ definition
6.  Misjudging when and if you have it
7.  Common misconceptions
8.  Addressing the myths
9.  It’s not about product, it’s about the market accepting product
10. Once found, then make your product robust
11. Before survive, after thrive
12. Dichotomy of choosing a market, before finding a fitRead Here


‘Everything I Wish We’d Known
Before We Rebuilt The Product’

Interesting article that looks into the tripwires when rebuilding a product, obviously written with considerable hindsight.

“There’s an old saying about perfectly designed systems: You’ve never heard of them, because those companies never get off the ground. When you first get going, the only thing you should focus on is finding product-market fit. Picking the stack that works right now, fast, is the right choice. Yet, once you reach critical mass, waiting too long to re-architect can torpedo your reliability and ability to grow”Read Here


Leadership Role Expectations vs Reality

It’s not often I enjoy or get much satisfaction from social media.
Twitter is full of mad people, trolls and a combination of both.
Linkedin is a window into the mind of the self promoter.

But I retain an open mind about most things and occasionally something catches my eye including this rather neat tweet on leadership from @davidhoang.

Leadership Role Expectations

– 24/7 thought leadership
– Conference speaking
– Podcast interviews

Leadership Role Reality

– Saying the same things over again consistently at scale
– Asking two teams if they’ve talked to each other
– Finding out where that Google doc is


Further Reading

Inspired : How To Create Tech Products Customers Love

INSPIRED shaped my thinking as a young product manager, and I now assign it to my students to make sure they are making the right things in the right way. INSPIRED teaches you to think like Silicon Valley’s smartest product managers.”

Download Our Free eBook!

90 Things You Need To Know To Become an Effective CTO

CTO Academy Ebook - CTO Academy

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