What is Product-Market Fit and Why is It Important?
Marc Andreessen of Andreessen Horowitz was one of the first people to suggest the Product-Market Fit (PMF) concept and he defined the term as being in a good market with a product that can satisfy that market. In other words, once you have successfully identified your target customer and served them a product that perfectly aligns with their needs, you have found your PMF.
The important thing is that the product has to fit the market, not the other way around.
“When a great team meets a lousy market, market wins. When a lousy team meets a great market, market wins. When a great team meets a great market, something special happens.” – Andy Rachleff, Wealthfront CEO
The reason why PMF is considered to be one of the most important concepts is that it plays a major role in determining the future for any startup.
How do You Know If you Have PMF?
Being in a good market with the perfect product is easier said than done. Since there are so many variables in the equation, there is no one-size-fits-all formula. Fully achieving PMF depends on the specifics of the startup, but it’s usually a mix of revenue, engagement, and growth.
Educating yourself on the topic will definitely give you a leg up in figuring out what PMF means for your startup. It’s why we put together a list of the best books on product-market fit.
The Best Books on Product-Market Fit in 2021:
The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
The Lean Startup is the book that introduced the lean methodology to the world of startups. Since then, it has become one of the must-read business books for everyone, from new entrepreneurs to professionals who want to revise the fundamentals of lean startup. In essence, this book is a foundation that explains the importance of MVPs, iteration and PMF. The author uses real life examples from his own experience, as well as revisiting other startups’ case studies.
FOCUS Framework by Justin Wilcox
In his book FOCUS Framework, entrepreneur Justin Wilcox walks you through the path to finding PMF in detail. One of his main objectives is to help you reach PMF by running experiments with your customers, not on them. Even though, in some ways the book’s promise might seem hard to live up to, it is still full of good ideas.
Testing Business Ideas by Alexander Osterwalder and David J. Bland
Published as one of the three books of the Strategyzer series, Testing Business Ideas explains the importance of systematic testing in order to iterate, grow and finally reach PMF. Though the book is mostly focused on testing and experimenting, it is quite informative on how to maximize the chances of success and minimize the risks.
The Lean Product Playbook by Dan Olsen
With The Lean Product Playbook, author Dan Olsen aimed to create an easy-to-follow guidebook to iterating your way to PMF, providing clarity with the help of diagrams and formulas. Apart from being insightful, it is quite entertaining, just like a real playbook. However, there are a couple of things to keep in mind: the book is almost entirely devoted to software products and it is mostly for those who are just starting out in the field.
From Idea to Product/Market Fit by Omar Mohout
A former technology entrepreneur and a professor of Entrepreneurship at Antwerp Management School, Omar Mohout in his book From idea to product/market fit celebrates the idea that knowing all the answers right away is not necessary. Instead he encourages his readers to ask the right questions first and then find the answers. The main goal of the book is simplifying the process of agile action, and so maximizing efficiency. One thing to be aware of is that the book is mostly introductory.
Product-Market Fit Analysis by Matt Brocchini
Matt Brochini is a technology and education entrepreneur and executive. He has developed the Quantitative Product Market Fit or simply QPMF concept with Chris Sorensen, an award winning start-up executive and strategist. In his book Product-Market Fit Analysis, Brochini explains this innovative methodology of quantifying PMF in depth. The quantitative approach is designed to help companies assess and improve their PMF.
Lean B2B by Étienne Garbugli
Meticulously covering the specifics of PMF in business to business, Lean B2B contains vital information. Since the case studies in the book come from real life experiences, they are relatable and easily applicable to your own journey. It will help you recognize the differences between B2B and B2C startups. If you are working on a business selling to consumers however, this book might not be the first on your list.
Understanding and reaching PMF can be challenging. Though, getting the best information will help you. This list of best books on product-market fit provide you with necessary knowledge. For new and updated articles you can check back the blog often.