Product-market fit: what if this is not enough?

Launching a new business requires addressing the 3 dimensions: Product/Service, Market, Business.

The first questions to ask concern the feasibility of the product/service, the expectations of the market and the viability of the business model. Is the product desired by the market? Is the market accessible? Can this business be profitable?

The product-market fit is often quoted as the key to increasing the chances of launching a viable business. Does the product meet the expectations and needs of the market? A solution that does not meet a need has little chance of selling. Try selling radiators in Senegal…

But there are other couples to consider to secure your business:

  • Product-Market Fit
  • Business-Product Fit : Is the business model appropriate for this product? Some products can be rented easily but will rarely be sold like for example a safe deposit box in a bank.
  • Business-Market Fit : Is this business model relevant for this market ? Depending on the market, there may be monopolies, constraints or conventions that will impact the type of business. The low-cost model does not seem to be compatible with the luxury market.

However, we sometimes forget to ask ourselves a question: “Why am I selling? Only the team can give this meaning and is able to provide food for thought. If the importance of the team is no longer in question, I propose a new set of couples to consider:

  • Team-Product Fit : Is this the right team for this product/service? The team must have the capacity to carry the product/service. It must bring skills, experience, means, motivation… to develop the product or supervise its development. Without computer skills, it is difficult to develop Artificial Intelligence. Building buildings without being an architect can make it difficult…
  • Team-Market Fit : Is this the right team for this market? The team must have some legitimacy in the market. The team’s experience in the field is a definite asset to open doors and establish the company’s credibility. The consulting market expects senior people as interlocutors. Addressing a local market without knowing the culture, history, customs, practices… can lead to failure…
  • Team-Business Fit : Is this the right team for this business? Does the team want to develop the business in this way? The way of marketing must be in line with the values, ethics, motivations and skills of the team.  Starting a food business without going through fair trade can be a prohibitive condition. Avoiding to pollute the planet can be more important than profit and turnover…

All these questions are added to the business vision to take into account the entrepreneurial adventure in its entirety.

It becomes urgent to put the team back at the heart of the business because after all, it is the team that carries it!

Thank you for your comments, remarks, criticisms, points of view… 😊


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