How to find product-market fit by thinking differently

Too many founders think about product-market fit too reductively, as if it were bound by one specific metric that you have to hit. In reality, it's a spectrum with four discernible phases.

You can also watch the live recording on youtube.

Product-market fit isn't one thing. It's best to think of it as a spectrum that matches the lifecycle of the startup, and guides founders on what to do next.

In this episode, JDM talks about the four steps of product-market fit:

  1. Customer-problem fit: there is a sufficient volume of customers who are experiencing a particular pain acutely enough to make it worth building a business to solve it.

  2. Problem-solution fit: we have a group of potential customers who passionately want us to solve their problem in a particular way.

  3. Product-market fit: we have compelling evidence that the high-level mechanics of the business model are working.

  4. Business model fit: when the product is sufficiently repeatable so as to be scalable.

Check out the companion article for more information, and here is the "mom test" video JDM mentioned in the episode.


Inside the Box is a podcast about the metacognition of innovation and entrepreneurship, where we talk about the tools and techniques used to create amazing products and launch high-growth startups. Most importantly, we talk about the mindset successful innovators use to avoid getting in their own way.

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Published 4 months ago

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