Start-up culture does not seem to get old. In fact, experts say after the dot-com bubble’s rise and fall, we might be looking at the beginning of a new age of start-ups in this decade.

Start-ups are no walk in the park. There are tons of obstacles for any company trying to make it in the market. Initially, every start-up would have to go at least 1000 days without a paycheck while still gambling on initial investments and further funding.

Releasing a new product is always a gamble. Many companies dedicate themselves to releasing products without really getting an idea of the market. This notion aligns with the 1000 days no pay agenda. Businesses assume that the product they release might not be  really exciting the market at the moment, but are convinced without much market research that over time they would eventually make it big.

This is where the product market fit comes into the picture. This is a well known modern management and market analysis concept in the start-up world. It is popularly used by many major companies but somehow hasn’t caught enough attention in the business world yet.

This model shows start-ups the relevance of their product through the reaction of consumers. It helps business owners achieve a shift in their perspective about their product, while giving them new ideas for business growth.

Business Meeting on Marketing

What really is Product Market fit?

The stage at which the start-up successfully identifies its market or target customer base, and releases a product that caters to their exact need. In other words, you would know when the start-up has been successful at achieving the product market fit when :

●       You hear talk about the product, through word of mouth.

●       When the reviews on the product are positive and indicate its popularity

●       You release the product and it gets sold out in no time.

When the product is positively accepted and popular amongst the target audience, the next move would be to scale up and grasp the attention of a larger market.

How can you measure product market fit?

Measuring product market fit is a little convoluted. There is no single metric that tells you the magnitude of how well your business has committed to the model and achieved it. But there are a handful of signs that can give you a brief idea of whether you are moving in the right direction or not.

  1. To figure out your position in the product market, you need to conduct plenty of surveys. When you survey potential customers by giving them a chance to use your product, does their reaction seem like they will be willing to switch to your product? This may sound a little strange, but customer reaction says a lot.
  1. Have the customers rejected similar products from other brands or companies similar to yours? If they have, are they willing to try your product at all?
  1. Do users understand what makes your product unique in comparison to others? Are they genuinely interested in knowing how you stand out and what more your products have to offer?
  1. Have a look at the retention rates to gauge whether the users will be willing to stick around.
  1. When you showcase your products to the users, do they compare it to similar ranking products of other brands or lower grade products.

The above signs are both quantitative and qualitative metrics. There are still many ways you can figure out the success of your start-up in accordance with the product market fit model:

  1. Churn rate
  2. Market share
  3. Growth rate
  4. NPS score
  5. Word of mouth (popularity and influence of the product)
  6. Calls and positive inquiries from media companies and industry analysts
  7. The overall popularity and coverage of your product in the media and on other social media sources.

Common misconceptions about product market fit

Many business owners are heavily misinformed about the model and at times do not really know what is product market fit. They are under the impression that they perform well despite low sales and bad reviews? Here are a few common misconceptions people have about product market fit.

1. First to market does not matter

First to market is a very important factor in the long run. It always leads to better and large scaled product sales. Though some might discredit this fact, arguing that Facebook, for instance, was not the first social media platform but it still found the product market fit.

However, Facebook took the most compelling features of tech and was sold in a manner that took the world by storm. So, in a way, it was first of its kind. Once you achieve the product market fit, it is very hard to break out of it. Almost all of the products will satisfy the model thereafter.

2. Once you are successful in the product market fit, you will not have to beat competition

Competition is what makes companies great. Although reaching a product market fit can set your company on a new and better path, there will still be a lot of competition. You will have to keep bringing out products that outperform your competitors.

3. Discrete product release is better

Product market fit is all about the outreach and acceptance of customers. You have to bring out products in an extravagant manner. This sends out the message that you are in it to win it. Discretion is not always the best choice, but if funding is a problem, one should consider cheaper alternatives that still are a little loud.


In the early stages of a start-up, earning money in a short period of time is very tempting. However, to create a successful and lasting business, you also have to realize that short term revenue is not the way to go.

Investing in outreach and understanding your products’ place in the customers’ lives is necessary. There is always room for better resources and methods to produce a lasting and widely accepted product. So, shift your focus there.