In the early days of any startup, everyone asks “have you achieved product/market fit”. Almost instinctively, every investor or partner knows to ask this question within the first few minutes of a conversation.
There are lots of posts out there giving hard metrics to try and measure your progress towards this magical moment (e.g., 40% of customers would be disappointed if your product didn’t exist). One would track such metrics to prove to someone else that product/market fit has been achieved. However, there are a few softer indicators that are not discussed as much.
- Time. The team is extremely stretched and is having a hard time keeping up with demand. Your customers just keep on knocking on your door, and the team is working around the clock responding to requests, fixing bugs and fulfilling orders.
- Talent. Top talent starts reaching out to you in the hopes of securing a job. This doesn’t mean that recruiting the best talent becomes easy, it is still a highly challenging task. However, your talent pipeline gets bigger so more time goes into filtering candidates versus purely finding before.
- Traffic. Organic traffic volumes start growing faster than paid traffic volumes. The word-of-mouth recommendations have started, and you begin to see the “hockey-stick” growth every startup craves.
So if you are feeling the above 3 things, you may be on to something big! Celebrate. Take a deep breath. Know that your team is working hard, so join them to keep marching forward!
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