Yet, few companies attempt it
For those who do, it’s not enough to say you are challenging the status quo – you have to have customers who validate your vision.
One of the ways you prove your disruption is valuable is by finding something called “Product-Market Fit.”
For the vast majority of companies and products – this isn’t a conscious effort. They aren’t setting out to challenge the status quo but instead building a cheaper, faster, or easier-to-use mouse trap. This concept is a sustaining innovation, and there is nothing wrong with it. It is, in fact, necessary and essential.
However, for those who are building a product that disrupts how we go about our daily lives, whether personally or professionally, it’s necessary to find product-market fit.
Challenging the status quo is our quest in the analytics market (if you’re interested in more on the topic, read this blog).
But I digress; this isn’t supposed to be about what we do. It’s about the tools and techniques that have been extremely helpful in our journey to find product-market fit.
Here are a few of the most impactful
Enjoy, comment, and share back (podcasts, books, tools, etc.) that you have found helpful in your journey to challenge the status quo.
Book: The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers // This isn’t going to be an easy journey. It’s important to have the right mindset. You will need to make difficult decisions, and you won’t always be correct. Hopefully, your decisions aren’t as difficult as those Ben Horowitz had to make and wrote about in this book. The book is full of real-life lessons on how to be a better manager, leader, and builder-of-businesses. This quote is a good encapsulation: “Almost all management books focus on how to do things correctly, so you don’t screw up, these lessons provide insight into what you must do after you have screwed up.” The book is refreshing in its candidness and for those of us who do make mistakes a beneficial read.
Podcast: Andy Rachleff on “How to Know If You’ve Got Product Market Fit” // Once you have the right mindset, what is product-market fit, and how do you know you found it? There are a lot of useful articles out there to read, but I like to listen, and this is an excellent place to start. Andy Rachleff gets credited as the man who coined the term product-market fit, he’s the expert—and in this episode, he shares lessons learned from legendary startup super performers such as Scott Cook, Reed Hastings, Don Valentine, and many others. This podcast brings together a variety of frameworks – from the Technology Adoption Lifecycle and Crossing the Chasm to the notion of what is a disruptive vs. sustaining innovation to a framework where disruptive innovation is a combination of being non-consensus and right.
Article: Know Your Customers’ “Jobs to Be Done” // Now you have the right mindset, and you know what you are trying to accomplish, you need to figure out how to go about it. This means getting your organization on the same page on how to systematically test for product-market fit. We have been using the “Jobs to Be Done” framework as the common approach for aligning our marketing, sales, and product teams. First proposed by our product management organization, it has helped ensure we are all on the same page. The framework is especially useful when challenging the status quo, and this article outlines the concept nicely as follows “Innovation can be far more predictable—and far more profitable—if you start by identifying jobs that customers are struggling to get done.” I highly suggest using this framework to figure out how you systematically find product-market fit.
Article: What Do You Do? // “The Jobs to Be Done” framework is just that – a framework. Product marketing will still need to turn the information captured in JTBD into product messaging. There are many ways to do this – some more complex than others. If you don’t have a tried and true method that you use – read this article. I love the simplicity of this short and helpful guide on how to nail your initial product messaging. If you are having trouble simplifying your message, start here. I haven’t met Brett, but I’ve read a few of his articles and have listened to him on podcast or two. I find what he has to say extremely tangible, so go check him out if you haven’t already.
Data Storytelling. See how we’re challenging the status quo