(2009-11-30) Ellis The Startup Pyramid Via Product Market Fit

Sean Ellis: The Startup Pyramid. Startups require a solid foundation of product/market fit before progressing up the pyramid and scaling the business.

Product/market fit has always been a fairly abstract concept making it difficult to know when you have actually achieved it

I’ve tried to make the concept less abstract by offering a specific metric for determining product/market fit. I ask existing users of a product how they would feel if they could no longer use the product. In my experience, achieving product/market fit requires at least 40% of users saying they would be “very disappointed” without your product. Admittedly this threshold is a bit arbitrary, but I defined it after comparing results across nearly 100 startups.

Of course progressing beyond “early traction” requires that these users represent a large enough target market to build an interesting business.

make your product a “must have.” (compelling)

Race up the Pyramid

Once you have achieved product/market fit, it’s time to accelerate through the next steps of the pyramid and then begin scaling your business.

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