The Startup Secret Sauce: A Superhuman Product-Market Fit

3 min read
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What is your product-market fit?

Startup entrepreneur and investor Marc Andreessen has defined product/market fit as “being in a good market with a product that can satisfy that market.” Reaching product/market fit means that you’re familiar both with your customer base and with the major needs and problems they have.

How does product-market fit for a startup?

Achieving product-market fit should be one of the foremost goals of your startup’s product team. It’s an essential quality that startup investors will look for. Conversely, the path to startup success is lined with failed companies that struggled to reach product-market fit.

What is UX in product-market fit?

User experience (UX) refers to how customers interact with your products and services, and the experience they have while doing so. In order for users to love your product, it must fulfill UX criteria such as:

  • Useful (meeting your audience’s needs)
  • Usable (efficient and easy to use)
  • Findable (able to be discovered by your target audience)
  • Credible (trusted by customers and experts)
  • Desirable (with an attractive brand and design)
  • Accessible (able to be used by a wide range of people)
  • Valuable (clearly defining the benefit you receive)

There are several different UX metrics to measure product/market fit. One common heuristic is to measure the percent of users who would answer “very disappointed” if they could no longer use the product. When you ask users “How would you feel if you no longer had access to this product?”, at least 40% of users should respond “very disappointed.”

How does Superhuman find product-market fit?

CEO Rahul Vohra is the founder of Superhuman, a startup that claims to be “building the fastest email experience in the world.” For example, the Superhuman email app offers dozens of keyboard shortcuts to help users search, label, filter, and send messages more quickly.

Superhuman built a product-market fit engine to automate the process of measuring product-market fit. This included:

  • Conducting UX surveys among the app’s users
  • Separating users into customer segments based on their responses
  • Analyzing the collected data
  • Making changes based on this analysis and tracking the results

This automated approach to product/market fit can help startups identify hidden insights and gaps in their knowledge. For instance, your company may actually be targeting users who aren’t as enthusiastic about your product as the “true customers.”

In particular, Superhuman encourages startups to focus on their so-called “high-expectation customers” (HXC). These individuals are the ideal customer for your business that you might imagine when you close your eyes. Think about questions such as:

  • Which type of people most needs my products and services?
  • Why is your product important to these people, and how will your product help?
  • What kind of experience do you want people to have with your product?

Superhuman is just one startup that has excelled at reaching the right product/market fit. For more advice and best practices, get in touch with your connections in the startup community.

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