Every developer or entrepreneur that builds a new product probably asked themselves this question -- What my users want? That’s a key question for every product. It is the single most important thing we need to figure out in order to reach product-market fit.
What’s product-market fit?
Let me simplify it for you:
Now seriously. Product/market fit, also known as product-market fit, is the degree to which a product satisfies strong market demand. Product/market fit has been identified as a first step to building a successful venture in which the company meets early adopters, gathers feedback, and gauges interest in its product (Wikipedia).
Why is it important?
I’ll keep all my fancy explanations for another post 😱
Going straight to the point: not reaching product-market fit will kill your startup. Period. 🎯
Want to know more before you proceed?
- How To Know If You've Got Product/Market Fit – And How to Find it if You Don't by Lenny Rachitsky
- 12 Things about Product-Market Fit by Andreessen Horowitz
- Do things that don’t scale by Paul Graham
How can I know what users want?
There are many approaches to this but eventually, it all sums down to several specific things you can do.
Ask them (works best)
There’s nothing better than talking to your users or potential ones. In this age, you can reach nearly anyone on social media or other platforms so there’s no reason why not to engage your users and ask them a bunch of questions. You’d be surprised how much they love to help.
Become a user yourself
Perhaps I should’ve started with this point. In most cases, if you are the user and you build the product for yourself. Most like you’ll be able to better understand your users. At this point, I don’t mean that it is necessary to become a user in an artificial manner. Instead, I encourage you to build something that solves a problem you have yourself.
If you build something that solves a problem you have yourself most likely there are a bunch of others who have it too. That’s the best way to start tackling this question.
Check your data for recurring behaviors
In case your product is already up and running, I would also suggest checking your analytics platform. Seek for recurring behaviors. This that your users are coming over and over again to do in your product. That is a great indicator to the exact value they found in your product. Then go back and dig deeper. Perhaps it can be a great first topic for a user interview.
Try to realize:
- Why are they coming back to this feature?
- Why is it helpful for them?
- What would they do if your product wasn’t there for them?
Study similar products in your space
The chances you build a “one-of-a-kind thing” is so small. There are most likely more competitors in your space. Even if they’re not direct competition to your product, they still understand something about their users. Assuming that you both tapping into the same audience, then studying what they do is essential. Perhaps they know something you don’t. Perhaps they figured out something that you’re neglecting. Don’t underestimate competition.
Seek expert advice from your industry
There are many smart, experienced people in every industry and niche. Find people who know about the problem you’re trying to solve. Contact them and be kind. Usually, those people are busy and get many questions. However, once you’ve got them engaged they can give tops of tips to help you focus on what matters most (or at least get ideas for new things to test).
- Reaching a product-market fit is the single most important milestone you need to reach when building a new product or startup.
- The key is knowing what users want and build for them.
- There are many ways to answer this question. Talk to them, become a user, be data-driven, study competition and ask experts.