The Path to Product-Market Fit Requires Steady Iteration - Product Science Journal #37
The path to product-market fit is a steady cycle of iterations. In this issue I share the Product Discovery Loop, stories from JH Forster at User Interviews, and an article from First Round Review about Airtable's path to product-market fit.
Dear product leaders,
So I wrote an article for the first time in quite some time - about a tool I developed called the Product Discovery Loop. I use it to break down the components involved in reaching product-market fit into more easily testable pieces: market segment, user pain, user outcome, and solution. I'd love to know if you find the article useful, so if you give it a read, tell me what you think.
Meanwhile, I'm sharing some content around growing startups and finding product-market fit. One is a recent podcast episode with JH Forster on being the first product hire at User Interviews, which just raised a series B round. The other is an article from First Round Review about Airtable's path to product-market fit.
How to Use the Product Discovery Loop to Find Product-Market Fit
In this article, I share the 4 stages of the product discovery loop: market segment, user pain, user outcome, and solution. I argue that you need to experiment your way through the loop iteratively, each time increasing the number of use cases your product supports. Somewhere along the way, you'll find product-market fit.
The JH Forster Hypothesis: The First Product Hire at a Startup Needs to Be a Player-Coach
Product Science Podcast
In this interview with JH Forster, SVP of Product at User Interviews, we discuss how JH set his sights on a job as the first product hire at a startup, how he found the job, and what it's been like growing and evolving as the startup has grown from 6 people to 130 people. He even shares some of the mistakes he made!
Airtable's Path to Product-Market Fit — Lessons for Building Horizontal Products
First Round Review
I love a good real-world story of building a product from the ground up. It's interesting that the founders saw themselves as bucking the lean startup trend, but then go on to say that they started with a prototype and tested whether people could use it. Anyhow, it's a solid read.
Podcast Season 5 is here!
The JJ Rorie Hypothesis: The 5 Key Skills That Make a Product Manager Great Can Be Learned
The Emily Patterson Hypothesis: You're Not Really Learning Product Unless You're Doing It
The Pulkit Agrawal Hypothesis: Customer-Centric Teams Are Attached to Problems and Not Solutions
The Susan Stavitzski Hypothesis: The Best Way to Get Better at Discovery is to Do It Over and Over Again
The Product Science Journal and Podcast are sponsored by Productboard
Check out their ebook, written with Prodify, on the 10 Dysfunctions of Product Management.
If your product team is struggling, it could be one of the 10 dysfunctions of product management. Learn more about each dysfunction and how a product management system can help you address and avoid them.
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Join us for Data-Driven Product Decisions: A Hands On Workshop for Product Leaders
On January 12-13, I'll be running a workshop in New York City and on January 26-27 I'll be running one in San Francisco. I'd love to have you there! I'll share how to build products that drive growth and outcomes for users and your company. Participants will learn the Product Science Method, a step-by-step process for evaluating product opportunities and laying the foundations for high-growth product development. Learn more here.
Brought to you by H2R Product Science
Our team at H2R Product Science partners with startup founders and product leaders to share The Product Science Principles and the accompanying framework, the Product Science Method, which I've developed over my time in tech startups. Through our coaching and consulting work, we help our clients figure out which product growth opportunities they should pursue and build the product management skill to deliver on their goals. Reach out if you'd like to explore working together, whether as a client or a team member!
Thank you for reading!
Got a question for me or want to share something you're excited about? Just hit reply. I read every e-mail.View this issue on our blog
The Sarah Bernard Hypothesis: Customer-Centric Companies Uncover the Most Impactful Solutions
In this episode of the Product Science Podcast, we cover how machine learning can give you a better understanding of your customer, how teams can become customer focused, and how to create cross functional solutions for customers.
The Melissa Perri Hypothesis: Escaping the Build Trap Requires Transforming Product Management Processes From Top to Bottom
Melissa Perri is the author of Escaping the Build Trap and founder of Produx Labs. She explains how product and tech can work together to maximize synergy.