The Importance of Product Market Fit

Achieving product market fit dramatically increases a startup’s odds of success and arms startup founders and investors with intelligence that will help them.

Achieving product market fit dramatically increases a startup’s odds of success. When prioritized, It can arm startup founders and investors with intelligence that will help them optimize and assess products before they invest energy and capital on ideas that don’t have a place in the market. At Uprise, we work with clients and investors to evaluate product market fit. We validate ideas and create strategies that capitalize on the opportunities we discover through our research. Whether you’re a startup founder or an investor, understanding product market fit is one of the single most important things you can do when assessing the viability of a new company. 

Even the seemingly best ideas need to be vetted. When we work with startup founders to help them assess their product market fit, we analyze everything from their current offerings and how they fit into different market segments to the ways they’re appealing to their customer base. While each startup is different and has different needs, here are three general types of product market fit evaluations we often land on:

  1. Course Correction: In some cases, we course correct and make recommendations that help clients with things like increasing their customer adoption or plugging into untapped verticals. We develop marketing strategies and sales processes that bring new life to their product in new ways. 
    Example: We helped a successful fashion brand add a new customer segment to their marketing efforts and dramatically increased their online sales.
  2. Full Steam Ahead: In some cases, we give the green light and then help our clients solidify their go-to-market strategy. Their idea has been validated. Now it’s time for strategic execution that empowers their successful launch.
    Example: We helped a food startup decide to launch a new product after assessing whether or not there was room in the market. 

  3. Full-Stop: In some cases, we’ll have tough conversations when a startup founder’s vision is not aligning with the market opportunity. It doesn’t necessarily mean that an idea needs to be scrapped, it just means we need to think through the value proposition and what the market needs.
    Example: We helped an IOT startup reimagine their business model and the value they could deliver their clients to increase adoption.

No one expects you to be an expert in everything. When we work with investors, we help them evaluate new opportunities. We perform in-depth assessments that provide them with insights and information that lets them make sound decisions on whether or not an opportunity is worthy of their investment. Not an expert in AI but wondering if that founder you met last week was on to something? What about that startup that would be creating an entirely new category? Is there really room in the market for another CBD beverage? Product market fit can be elusive at times but it doesn’t have to be when you work with a team that can provide strategic insights that give you the information you need to consider viability and success. Here are three things we help investors think through when assessing new opportunities:

  1. What’s the market opportunity? Evaluating the current market landscape and how opportunities fit into that space is critical. It doesn’t matter how great an idea or product is, if there isn’t a market for it or the market is saturated, investors are better off passing.

  2. Who is the customer and what is their problem? By thinking about the customer and their problem before the product and their solution, we clearly identify whether or not there is a need in the market. Once established, we assess the ways in which the product is bringing value to the customer.
  3. How do we scale this? Investors want to make sure that the capital they’re infusing will pay off. To help them invest with confidence, we provide meaningful market and customer insights that assess viability.

Whether you’re a startup founder or an investor, understanding product market fit is an essential first-step when it comes to launching (or investing in) new products. Don’t wait to assess your product market fit after launch. Be proactive and assess the viability of your product by examining the market, your customer base, and the problem you’re seeking to solve. At Uprise, we work with startup founders and investors to peel back all the complexity that surrounds product market fit. Our diverse team of entrepreneurs, strategists, technologists, developers, creatives, and marketers work collaboratively to prepare meaningful strategies and plans that help startup founders and investors evaluate their products and ideas. 

Looking for a partner that can help you with both strategy and execution? We only propose strategies we can deploy and implement. Why? Because we are doers, and doers pride themselves in work ethic, efficiency, and outcomes.

Malinda Gagnon

Malinda is CEO at Uprise and has more than 20 years of experience in business strategy and technology at companies including Google and WPP, and has advised clients such as Procter & Gamble, General Electric, VW, BlackRock, and Walmart.

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