What’s the best way to know if you have product market fit?

Sam Altman (President at Y Combinator)
Before Growth – Sam Altman

A startup that prematurely targets a growth goal often ends up making a nebulous product that some users sort of like and papering over this with growth hacking. That sort of works at least, it will fool investors for awhile until they start digging into retention numbers but eventually the music stops.

What’s the best way to know if you have product market fit?

Sam Altman (President at Y Combinator)
Before Growth – Sam Altman

I think the right initial metric is do any users love our product so much they spontaneously tell other people to use it? Until that’s a yes, founders are generally better off focusing on this instead of a growth target.

What’s the best way to interview customers?

David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
Build your product to explicitly address a “Job To Be Done” | A Founder’s Notebook

Build your product to explicitly address a “Job To Be Done”. Focusing on a Job To Be Done removes the need to specify who your target customer is, because your target customer is anyone who needs to get this job done. If you discover that there are different jobs to be done, for example Clay Christensen’s example of a milkshake to provide breakfast on a commute and a milkshake to provide a treat for a child, you’ll likely find you have different … (read more)

What’s the best way to get your first customers?

Paul Graham (Co-Founder & Partner at Y Combinator)
Do Things that Don’t Scale

If you have to choose between [a subset of customers] that will sign up quickest and those that will pay the most, it’s usually best to pick the former, because those are probably the early adopters. They’ll have a better influence on your product, and they won’t make you expend as much effort on sales. And though they have less money, you don’t need that much to maintain your target growth rate early on.

What’s the best way to get your first customers?

Paul Graham (Co-Founder & Partner at Y Combinator)
How Not to Die

It will be good for your morale to have even a handful of users who really love you, and startups run on morale. But also it will tell you what to focus on. What is it about you that they love? Can you do more of that? Where can you find more people who love that sort of thing? As long as you have some core of users who love you, all you have to do is expand it. It may take a while, but as long as you keep plugging away, you’ll win in the end.

What’s the best way to get your first customers?

Seth Godin (Founder at Yoyodyne Entertainment)
Seth’s Blog: First, ten

Find ten people. Ten people who trust you/respect you/need you/listen to you… Those ten people need what you have to sell, or want it. And if they love it, you win. If they love it, they’ll each find you ten more people (or a hundred or a thousand or, perhaps, just three). Repeat. If they don’t love it, you need a new product. Start over.

What’s the best way to get your first customers?

Eric Ries (Author, The Lean Startup)
The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses

Start with a small geographic area, perhaps as small as a few city blocks, and instead of paying for expensive television or radio advertising to let people know about the service, use highly targeted advertising. Flyers on billboards, newspaper advertisements to those blocks, or specially targeted online ads would be a good start. Since the target area is so small, they could afford to pay a premium to create a high level of awareness in the tar… (read more)