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Product market fit and the entrepreneur

01/29/2015| 12:33:39 AM|

The passion it requires to take a product from idea to fruition can hardly be paralleled.

If I’ve learned nothing else in my many years in the hotel and travel technology industry, it’s that the passion it requires to take a product from idea to fruition can hardly be paralleled. It requires the highest level of intelligence, determination, financial savvy, and unbridled faith to be an entrepreneur. Near fanaticism. A visceral drive to succeed. Yet, many don’t.

Some believe an uber-smart team paves the path to success. Others believe that if you build a product based on a brilliant idea, the sales must follow. And then there’s the entrepreneur who sees a need and fills it. Filling it as quickly as possible, without necessarily the strongest product, but with something that consumers can use to get from point A to point B. The entrepreneur who embraces product/market fit—and is willing to do what it takes to adapt the product or rework the team in order to find the right market is likely to be the most successful.

According to Marc Andreesen, if a company believes wholly in product/market fit and doing anything to reach it, there can be a whole host of mistakes along the way and at the end of the day, the company can still succeed. Andreesen suggest, “Do whatever is required to get to product/market fit. Including changing out people, rewriting your product, moving into a different market, telling customers no when you don’t want to, telling customers yes when you don’t want to, raising that fourth round of highly dilutive venture capital — whatever is required.” The fit must be there before you can scale upward at all.

Hotel and travel tech start-ups should have an edge when it comes to reaching product/market fit. Hospitality and travel is about people, and largely about people who are out there sharing their needs and wants quite openly via social channels. And yet so many travel start-ups fail from an unwillingness to recognize what the people want and then bend the idea—a refusal to lean in on the moguls, or change their speed, or adjust ski width, all in an effort to reach the end of the hill, mostly beaten up.

Though entrepreneurial success requires fervor and inventiveness, there’s no room for zealotry and even less room for ego. Holding on too tightly to an idea or a doctrine will only lead to collapse. To reach product/market fit, you must be able to not only make mistakes, but admit them and correct them.

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TAGS: entrpreneur | product | marketing
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