How to Position your Startup with Rob Kaminski

Founder Institute
27 Feb 202455:55

Summary

TLDRIn this insightful presentation, Rob shares valuable strategies for early-stage B2B startups to achieve product-market fit. He emphasizes the importance of identifying and dominating specific market segments, presenting a framework for crafting compelling positioning and messaging. Rob highlights the fragmentation of B2B markets and the need to start small, focusing on nailing one use case before expanding. He provides actionable principles for effective messaging, such as leading with capabilities, sharing first-order benefits, and addressing surface-level problems. Overall, Rob's practical advice and proven methodologies offer a roadmap for founders to navigate the complexities of finding product-market fit and driving growth.

Takeaways

  • 😄 Product-market fit is achieved when you can repeatedly find, sell, serve, and retain customers across the same use case.
  • 😎 B2B markets are incredibly fragmented, and product-market fit is a collection of multiple fits across different segments or 'cubes'.
  • 🤔 When positioning your product, focus on a specific use case and target audience, rather than trying to appeal to everyone.
  • 💡 Lead with the capabilities of your product (what it can do) and the first-order benefits, not abstract outcomes or higher-level benefits.
  • 🎯 Message on the surface-level problems your target customers are facing, not the root cause you're solving.
  • 🌱 Start small and dominate a narrow market before expanding, even for successful startups like Facebook and PayPal.
  • 📈 Achieving product-market fit takes years, not months, for most startups. Expect a 5+ year journey.
  • 💰 Raise funds only after achieving a good portion of product-market fit, not to figure it out along the way.
  • 🔍 Immerse yourself in your target customer base to truly understand their problems and get qualitative insights.
  • 🧭 If customers aren't willing to give you their time and money, it's likely a market problem, not a product problem.

Q & A

  • What is the 'leaky bucket' concept in SaaS?

    -The 'leaky bucket' concept refers to a situation where a SaaS product is able to attract customers but fails to retain them due to the product not fully meeting their needs or expectations.

  • What does Fletch specialize in?

    -Fletch is a product marketing consultancy for early-stage B2B startups, focusing on positioning, messaging, and translating messaging into clear homepage copy.

  • How does Fletch define product-market fit?

    -Fletch defines product-market fit as the ability to repeatedly find, sell, serve, and retain customers across the same use case.

  • What are the two approaches to finding product-market fit mentioned in the script?

    -The two approaches are starting with a market problem or insight and then figuring out what to build to capture that opportunity, and starting by building a product with potential use cases but without a clear target audience.

  • What is the 'Minimum Viable Positioning' framework?

    -The Minimum Viable Positioning framework is a guide developed by Fletch to help founders sort through different positioning options to find the most clear and compelling for their stage.

  • Why is it important to start small when finding product-market fit?

    -Starting small is crucial because it allows a startup to dominate early markets, ensuring a strong foothold before expanding to capture larger segments.

  • How does Fletch recommend explaining a product for positioning?

    -Fletch recommends finding reference points to explain your product either based on its use case or by comparing it to known products, methods, or competitors as competitive anchors.

  • Why is it advised against overcomplicating positioning?

    -Overcomplicating positioning leads to analysis paralysis, preventing clear decision-making and delaying testing of positioning in the real world where feedback is crucial.

  • What is the importance of focusing on go-to-market fit first?

    -Focusing on go-to-market fit first is important because it brings a startup closer to customers, offering a better view into the problem and increasing the chances of finding a market fit.

  • How should startups view their market when considering product-market fit?

    -Startups should view their market in detail, recognizing its fragmentation and understanding that product-market fit at scale is actually a collection of multiple fits within smaller, targeted segments.

Outlines

00:00

🛠 Fixing the Leaky Bucket in Product Market Fit

This paragraph introduces the concept of addressing a 'leaky bucket' in software as a service (SaaS) startups, signifying a situation where a product doesn't fully meet market needs despite identifying a real problem and a viable sales approach. It emphasizes the necessity of refining the solution to ensure it adequately solves the identified market problem. The speaker introduces themselves as a co-founder of Fletch, a consultancy specializing in product marketing for B2B startups, highlighting their focus on positioning, messaging, and translating these elements into effective homepage copy. They share their intent to discuss product-market fit, positioning, and messaging, aiming to provide insights derived from their experience with over 150 B2B SaaS startups.

05:00

📈 Achieving Product Market Fit and Understanding Market Fragmentation

This paragraph elaborates on achieving product-market fit in B2B sectors, stressing the importance of understanding market fragmentation, especially in horizontal markets. The speaker outlines a model consisting of four key pillars essential for product-market fit: finding, selling, serving, and retaining customers consistently across the same use case. They introduce the concept that product-market fit at scale is actually a collection of multiple fits within different segments of a fragmented market, illustrated by examples like Airtable and Loom, to highlight the necessity of specificity in targeting market segments for effective positioning and marketing.

10:02

🎯 Simplifying Positioning and Selecting Target Segments

In this paragraph, the speaker simplifies the concept of positioning to deciding 'who you are for' and 'what your product does' with a focus on uniqueness. Using examples like DuckDuckGo, Canva, and Mercury, the importance of clear, specific, and relatable positioning is emphasized. The discussion includes the significance of starting small, focusing intensely on a narrowly defined market to dominate early on. Examples of early positioning by successful companies like Facebook, eBay, and PayPal serve to underline the effectiveness of this focused approach. The speaker advises against broad, undefined positioning, advocating for precision in targeting to achieve early success.

15:04

🔍 Developing a Minimum Viable Positioning Framework

This paragraph introduces the 'Minimum Viable Positioning Framework,' a tool designed to help founders identify the most clear and compelling way to present their product to the ideal customer segment. It stresses starting with a market-first approach, focusing on specific departments or teams within a business, and using competitive anchors and use cases as reference points for product explanation. Examples including Slack's various positioning strategies underscore the adaptability and effectiveness of the framework. The narrative also touches on audience-agnostic positioning for broader market appeal, as demonstrated by companies like Loom and CLE, showcasing different approaches to explaining and positioning products.

20:06

📝 Key Principles for Effective Messaging

This paragraph outlines key principles for creating effective messaging that aligns with positioning strategies. It warns against generic messaging that tries to appeal to too broad an audience, instead advocating for marketing to specific segments based on use cases rather than abstract outcomes. Examples of missteps in messaging from larger companies illustrate common pitfalls. The importance of leading with product capabilities, sharing direct benefits, and addressing surface-level problems is highlighted. The speaker uses practical examples to demonstrate how specificity and clarity in messaging can significantly impact a startup's ability to communicate its value proposition effectively.

25:06

🚀 Transitioning from Positioning to Scale and Investor Expectations

The final paragraph discusses the challenges and strategies involved in transitioning from initial positioning efforts to scaling a business. It touches on the importance of identifying product or market problems through customer engagement and sales efforts. The speaker reflects on the necessity of closely engaging with one's target market to understand their needs and responses to the product. Additionally, considerations for when and why to seek investment are briefly explored, emphasizing the importance of achieving a level of predictability and repeatability in business operations before pursuing significant funding for scaling.

Mindmap

Keywords

💡Product Market Fit

Product market fit refers to the alignment between a product and the needs of its target market. In the video, Rob emphasizes that achieving product market fit means being able to "repeatedly find, sell, serve, and retain customers across the same use case." This concept is central to the discussion, as Rob provides a framework for early-stage startups to identify and address the various components of product market fit, such as market problem, go-to-market fit, and delivering value.

💡Positioning

Positioning refers to how a company presents and differentiates its product or service in the market. Rob stresses the importance of clear and compelling positioning, especially for early-stage startups. He introduces the concept of "minimum viable positioning," which involves identifying the target audience, the use case, and the competitive landscape, and crafting a positioning statement that resonates with potential customers. Positioning is a crucial step in finding product market fit, as it helps communicate the product's value proposition effectively.

💡Messaging

Messaging refers to the language and content used to communicate a product's value proposition to potential customers. Rob provides several principles for effective messaging, such as focusing on use cases rather than abstract outcomes, leading with capabilities rather than benefits, and addressing surface-level problems rather than root causes. Effective messaging is essential for engaging with potential customers and facilitating product market fit.

💡Go-to-Market Fit

Go-to-market fit is one of the pillars of product market fit, as described by Rob. It refers to the ability to repeatedly get in front of the target audience and effectively sell the product. Rob emphasizes the importance of having access to potential customers and being able to engage with them consistently. Achieving go-to-market fit is a critical step in finding product market fit, as it ensures that the product can be effectively marketed and sold to the right audience.

💡Market Fragmentation

Market fragmentation refers to the idea that B2B markets are not homogeneous but rather divided into smaller segments or "cubes," each with its own specific needs and characteristics. Rob uses the concept of market fragmentation to highlight the importance of starting small and focusing on a specific use case or segment when seeking product market fit. By addressing a smaller, more targeted segment, startups can more effectively refine their positioning, messaging, and go-to-market strategies before expanding to larger markets.

💡Minimum Viable Positioning

Minimum viable positioning is a framework introduced by Rob and his co-founder Anthony Pierry. It is a structured approach to identifying the most clear and compelling positioning for an early-stage startup. The framework involves identifying the target audience, the use case, and potential competitive anchors or reference points. By following this framework, startups can develop a positioning statement that resonates with their ideal customers and serves as a foundation for effective messaging and go-to-market strategies.

💡Use Case

A use case refers to a specific scenario or context in which a product or service is used by a customer. Rob emphasizes the importance of focusing on specific use cases rather than abstract outcomes when positioning and messaging a product. By clearly articulating the use case, startups can communicate the concrete value and capabilities of their product, making it easier for potential customers to understand and relate to the offering. Use cases are a central component of Rob's minimum viable positioning framework.

💡Capability

In the context of messaging, capability refers to what a customer would actually do with a product's features. Rob introduces the concept of "capability" as a bridge between a product's features and its benefits. He suggests leading with capabilities in messaging, as they help potential customers understand how the product can address their specific use case before communicating the broader benefits and outcomes. By focusing on capabilities, startups can make their messaging more concrete and relatable.

💡Surface-Level Problem

Surface-level problems refer to the immediate challenges or pain points that potential customers are experiencing, as opposed to the root causes of those problems. Rob advises startups to message around surface-level problems, as these are more likely to resonate with potential customers and earn a conversation. By addressing the issues that customers are actively struggling with, startups can establish a connection and then educate customers about the deeper root causes that their product addresses.

💡Customer Interaction

Customer interaction refers to the direct engagement and communication between a startup and its potential customers. Rob emphasizes the importance of spending significant time interacting with customers, whether through social media, consultation calls, or other channels. This level of customer interaction allows startups to gain valuable insights into the problems, needs, and pain points of their target audience, which is essential for refining positioning, messaging, and product development efforts. Customer interaction is a crucial component of finding product market fit.

Highlights

Introduction of the concept of 'leaky bucket' in SaaS, highlighting the importance of aligning market problems with solutions to ensure product-market fit.

Fletch's approach to product marketing consultancy for early-stage B2B startups, focusing on positioning, messaging, and translating messaging into clear homepage copy.

The emphasis on product-market fit as being composed of four key pillars: finding, selling, serving, and retaining customers across the same use case.

The importance of starting with a market problem or insight into the market for finding product-market fit, as opposed to starting with a product in search of a market.

Highlighting the issue of market fragmentation in B2B and the necessity of understanding this to effectively find product-market fit.

Introduction of the concept that product-market fit at scale is actually a collection of multiple product-market fits.

The role of segmentation and positioning in addressing the fragmentation of B2B markets, emphasizing the need to start small and be specific.

Introducing the Minimum Viable Positioning Framework to help founders sort through positioning options to find the most clear and compelling for their stage.

The importance of being close to customers to gain a better view into the problem and thus, a more effective go-to-market strategy.

Differentiation between market problem and product-focused approaches in finding product-market fit.

The need to understand and address the specific details and slices of a market to effectively position and message a product.

The concept of product-market fit as requiring repeatability and predictability in finding, selling, serving, and retaining customers.

Positioning simply by answering key questions: who the product is for and what does it do, and what's unique about it.

The strategic importance of starting small in the market to dominate early markets before expanding.

The necessity for founders to make clear decisions on who their product is for, to avoid diluting their positioning and messaging.

Transcripts

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the product doesn't do what it says it

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does and you see this in SAS you'll hear

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the terminology like a leaky bucket it

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means you don't have all the way fit you

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found you found a real Market problem

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you found a real way to sell but your

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solution's off and so you that's where

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you start to fix fix the Leaky bucket

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and there's a t you start to get into a

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bunch of stuff okay so super excited to

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be here um just to kind of set the stage

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a little bit for those of you who don't

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know I'm a co-founder of Fletch uh we

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are a product marketing consultancy for

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early stage B2B startups uh we really

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focus uh we have a product IED service

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that we focus and deliver for uh early

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stage Founders to focus on positioning

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uh and messaging and then we help them

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translate that messaging into clear

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homepage copy as a reflection of that

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positioning we've had the opportunity to

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work with about 150 B2B SAS startups

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most of them horizontal and so today I'm

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really excited want to share with you

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guys um a bunch of stuff that we've

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learned along the way the the topic

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areas that I want to cover I first want

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to get into product Market fit and B2B

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there tons of definitions out there we

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of course have our own definition that

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we think is a little bit more useful to

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help early stage Founders think through

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U the different pieces of what it takes

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to find fit and so we'll start there and

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then translating off of of our product

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Market fit model is really I want to

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share some insights around how to

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approach positioning especially for the

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early stage when it's really squishy

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really difficult to Think Through uh and

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so I want to we'll introduce some key

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principles for that and then I want to

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share something that my co-founder

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Anthony Pierry and I have developed that

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we call the minimum viable positioning

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framework uh it's a pretty much our

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guide when we work with Founders to help

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sort through all the different

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positioning options as a way to find the

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one that's the most clear and the most

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compelling for the stage that they're at

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and then we'll wrap up uh with really

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how to put that positioning into work

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into into messaging in other words like

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what are the supporting arguments of a

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positioning and how should you think

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about that as an early stage founder so

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that's what we're going to cover uh

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hopefully we'll stay around the 20-

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minute Mark leave a lot of time for Q&A

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um and we can double click into this as

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we go so uh the first thing I want to

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introduce is uh our product Market fit

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model and for us we think product Market

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fit is made up of four key pillars that

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really represent two different kinds of

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fit and you can see the definition at

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the bottom really thumbs this up and

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then I'll kind of walk through each

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piece but we believe you have product

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Market fit when you can repeatedly find

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sell serve and retain customers across

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the same use case uh and we'll double

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click on like what is use case is it

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relates to segmentation all those things

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and so what we hope this model serves as

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as you can see sort of these core

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questions here across these pillars as

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more of a a litmus test of how you're

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doing and even how you're thinking about

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the different parts of fit in the very

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very early stage you won't have good

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answers to any of these questions to

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start with and that's okay um what we

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believe is that it's usually best to

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start to seek out some version of the go

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to market fit first because you're just

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closer to the customers it's going to

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give you a better view into the problem

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um but there is no specific order to

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solve for these things but from that

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conceptual standpoint and so we're not

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going to walk through this whole

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detailed image you can go uh check this

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out on my LinkedIn what I want to

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highlight here is what we found working

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with all these different Founders uh is

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really the pieces at the bottom here

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there's two core approaches to finding

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fit and we see these patterns show up

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across a lot of different startups one

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of them is starting with a market

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problem or an insight into the market

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and then trying to figure out well what

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do we build to best capture that

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opportunity we we're big Believers in

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this approach because you basically by

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default are already vetting that the

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Market exists and it's more of an

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exercise of like how do I solve for that

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third pillar of that delivering value

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that that I shared on the first model

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how do I build the right product to

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capture the problem in the market that I

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know is there and so we see this a lot

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when people are subject matter experts

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in an area already or they're solving

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their own problem the other side of the

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equation uh and we do see a lot of this

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especially now um with generative Ai and

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these new

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technologies um which you can even

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pattern match this back to like when the

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internet became started to kind of merg

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as this adopted technology is folks just

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start building Cool Stuff uh and it is

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cool but they don't really know who it's

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for and this creates a lot of issues

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even tied into like how exactly did they

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build it so oftentimes we see folks

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building their product to be flexible to

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do anything but that creates a real

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challenge a real issue when you actually

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try and move into like how do I go to

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market how do I actually sell this to

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people and so these two fundamental

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approaches I'm going to speak mostly

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from the market

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problem in search of a product but these

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principles will apply across the

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board there's another key thing around

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product Market fit that I think gets

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lost in the shuffle a lot especially in

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B2B and especially in horizontal markets

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is that they are incredibly fragmented

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and I have some visuals to guide this

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and so when you're early stage it's

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important to understand this because the

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issue we see especially with a lot of

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venture back Founders or Founders that

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think they want to raise money is they

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go paint this picture of a huge Market

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problem but then when they move in the

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operational piece of actually finding

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fit and going to Market they drastically

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underestimate how fragmented that market

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is and all the required pieces and so

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what we like to say is that product

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Market fit at scale is actually a

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collection of product Market fits and

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there's a lot of ways that this shows up

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it kind of depends on the product and

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the market that you're in the example

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here is obviously for air table big

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flexible platform product can do a lot

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of different things they have found fit

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to varying degrees of success across

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each of these these for specific users

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by specific teams from a B2B standpoint

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they have industry focuses that they're

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delivering solutions for and so this is

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the thing that we try and drill into

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when we work with early stage is like

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can we get

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specific so taking that a little bit

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further this is really representing the

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fragmentation that we see and so the the

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piece I just hit usually if you're

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raising money or even just putting

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together your thoughts this is probably

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how you're thinking about your market

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today and what we encourage is to think

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about your Market from a much more

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detailed standpoint I brought up the

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concept of slices the biggest slices

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that you want to make sure to nail and

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and by the way there's more slices so

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this is a visual we call this our Cube

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uh it's in 3D the dimensions of markets

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actually go into 4D and 5D and 6D but we

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can't visualize those so this is the

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best we're going to get for now and so

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the idea here even if we take a company

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like Loom is that horizontal product

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they can slice up the way they build

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their product and Market their product

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in really into these smaller cubes and

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what we see is that as you move into the

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smaller Cube the more effective your

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positioning is going to become the

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clearer your message is going to be and

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the more effective your goom Market

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programs in your likelihood of finding

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one of these small pieces of fit are are

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and so it's really important when you're

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when you're thinking about building your

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product to really think in terms of

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specific

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details um we'll share another example

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here for aana and there's another point

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I want to get across so very similar

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example here in terms of how we're

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slicing these up again Asana L can be

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used for a lot of different even

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horizontal use cases and even these are

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big and can be broken down into smaller

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cubes why this be starts to become

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important is because this unit here as

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you'll see we we use this unit as an

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approach for a specific segment

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positioning it's The Guiding Light for

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how you're going to do all your

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marketing and right now I'm showing it

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just for all the assets you need to

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create but it also is going to impact

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the channels that you use and it's also

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then going to impact not only how you're

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building your product but how do you

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price your product does it actually fit

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based on the channel that you need to

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use and the assets you're going to need

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to sell it and can you get all this to

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fit together and so this is where we

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start to move down layers of detail in

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specifically on that left side of that

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product Market fit model that go to

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market fit of can I can I repeatably get

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in front of this group in this example

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HR folks in healthcare that are doing

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project management can I repeatably get

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in front of them and then do I have all

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the assets and things I need to say to

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sell them and get them into my product

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and so this is really important the

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takeaway here is that B2B markets are

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incredibly fragmented product Market fit

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is actually made up of multiple fits and

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you have to start small the last

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component of this from a fit level I I

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brought up channels this starts to get

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us into marketing motions as well um

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this is another way to view how to be

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specific and so the tricky thing to kind

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of hit on the same concept I introduced

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is that most folks who raise especially

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seed stage venture capital usually fall

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into one of these buckets in their story

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where they are leveraging some new

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technology they basically some like all

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these different use cases that the

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product could be for and they say look

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how big that market could be if we

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figure this out the the issue is again

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different visualization is that in order

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to penetrate this Market we actually

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first have to penetrate a single use

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case or a single segment and then

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sequence and stack all of those to

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either become a horizontal Suite or to

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become a platform

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and so um when we're working with

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Founders we're often trying to get them

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to shrink their positioning shrink their

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messaging uh and I have some examples

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here to kind of walk you guys through

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and some good principles to think about

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that but this is how we think about fit

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in B2B markets and so now leveraging

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that understanding of fragmented markets

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and smaller segments and product Market

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fits multiple um let's talk a little bit

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about key principles for positioning and

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then we'll unpack this into

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messaging positioning often

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gets over

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complicated uh it's often what we see a

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lot lot happen with early stage is

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there's this analysis paralysis that

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happens where you're looking for the

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perfect way to slice and dice and

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capture multiple segments and all these

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different things when you boil

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positioning down it's really just

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answering a couple key questions and

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this is like the ultimate boil down

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version but it's basically who are you

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for and what does the product do and

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then what's unique about it right so

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I've added three but this is this boils

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it down to two and so if we look at

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these examples customer segmentation and

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product differentiation duck ducko a

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search engine for privacy conscious

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individuals canva a design tool for

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non-designers mercury basically a bank

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for startups like it really can be this

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simple and it's funny when we do this

play10:45

work we can often uncover options for

play10:48

startups positioning in as quick as a

play10:50

few minutes a few hours um but they they

play10:53

tend to want to look for the perfect

play10:55

approach and the the truth is is that

play10:58

that answer you can't come come up with

play10:59

in a room you actually have to put your

play11:01

positioning out into the world see how

play11:02

it gets engaged with see what the

play11:04

reflection of feedback is back as you're

play11:06

testing your messaging to smoke test

play11:08

some of this stuff and so don't over

play11:10

complicate positioning that's number one

play11:12

um the other piece for early stage I

play11:13

know we got a lot of folks who are idea

play11:15

stage MVP stage even those with uh

play11:17

paying customers is is also valid for

play11:19

but you have to start small even when

play11:23

you look at some of these huge

play11:24

successful startups some of the biggest

play11:26

ones here today their very first markets

play11:29

and their very first positioning was

play11:32

hyperfocused and the idea here is you

play11:34

want to be able to dominate your early

play11:36

markets not just be a oh that's nice

play11:38

we're making progress but absolutely

play11:41

Dominate and so like these examples

play11:43

should stand out obviously the

play11:44

Facebook's an obvious one but like the

play11:46

eBay and the PayPal ones are really

play11:47

interesting like eBay just going to

play11:50

people who sell collector's items sure

play11:52

they wanted to sell everything they

play11:53

wanted to get the you know the moms and

play11:55

dads who were doing garage sailing but

play11:56

that's not who they focused on first

play11:58

they had to go where the pain was the

play11:59

biggest where the volume was the biggest

play12:01

and then use that as a building block to

play12:03

snowball into these other markets uh

play12:06

PayPal is just like the exact example on

play12:08

that you see PayPal on just about every

play12:10

checkout page they're using it for

play12:12

individual consumer Toc consumer

play12:14

payments they started just with eBay

play12:16

sellers they basically went over to eBay

play12:18

and they're like hey we know you have a

play12:19

lot of high high transaction folks that

play12:21

are dealing with checks and all this

play12:22

different stuff and they went and they

play12:24

won literally 90% 100% of that market

play12:28

before they then said okay who's next

play12:29

we've proven this works and so you got

play12:31

to start

play12:32

small another way to think about well

play12:34

how small it should be relative to where

play12:37

you're at and so it's just really funny

play12:39

we get a lot of um CED and series a

play12:42

companies that come to us and especially

play12:45

the seed ones are usually doing a couple

play12:46

hundred thousand in ARR and you talk to

play12:49

them about their positioning and they

play12:51

they're thinking in terms of like how

play12:53

are we going to be a$1 million doll

play12:54

company and that's so flawed you can't

play12:57

your growth's not going to happen that

play12:58

way overnight and what they end up with

play13:00

is really watered down positioning which

play13:02

leads to really vague messaging and it

play13:04

just doesn't work and so you got to

play13:05

start really close to where you're at

play13:07

and again if you're just in that idea

play13:09

stage like you're kind of just

play13:11

positioning for can I get a single

play13:13

customer right uh and that'll help you

play13:16

shrink pretty aggressively either by

play13:17

location like who are your friends who's

play13:19

in your network uh and then again using

play13:21

that as building blocks to scale

play13:23

out um another one here and you'll see

play13:25

this come back in me in messaging as

play13:27

well is it's some point you will have to

play13:29

make a decision this is that core

play13:31

question um one of the core questions

play13:33

that I talked about of like what comes

play13:35

into positioning it's deciding who

play13:36

you're

play13:37

for and there's a counterintuitive

play13:40

principle here that and it's a mistake

play13:43

that Founders make they think if I just

play13:45

leave my options open there'll be more

play13:47

potentials for Revenue I'll cast a

play13:49

bigger net uh and then I'll just figure

play13:51

it out I'll see which one's best there

play13:53

is a time and place for that very early

play13:56

stage when you're really not sure and

play13:58

you're just you're talking to people

play14:00

that are maybe in your network and you

play14:01

could throw out these ideas and you're

play14:02

looking for that poll but if you're

play14:04

actually positioning it's really about

play14:06

making that choice uh and that's what

play14:08

this visual is meant to represent and

play14:09

this is that first step toward

play14:11

repeatability when we think about our

play14:12

definition of product Market

play14:15

fit when you double click on that piece

play14:19

um and so how do you make that decision

play14:22

there's the way and we use this as a

play14:24

tool to help Founders make that choice

play14:26

because some of the founders who come to

play14:28

us do have a million in ARR or more

play14:30

multiple Millions but when you start to

play14:33

look at that Revenue what you'll usually

play14:36

find especially an early stage is it's

play14:37

coming from a lot of different folks

play14:39

right if we go back to the cube it's

play14:40

coming from different parts of the cube

play14:42

different Industries slightly different

play14:44

use cases well we came in through the

play14:46

marketing team over here we actually won

play14:48

with the engineering team over here

play14:50

those are signals that you have traction

play14:53

and possibly not fit fit is represented

play14:55

on the right hand side from a go to

play14:57

market perspective is it repeatable and

play15:00

anyone who's ever been in really any

play15:02

company but especially a startup that's

play15:03

trying to grow you'll know in terms of

play15:06

how they they operationalize their

play15:08

decisions who has fit and who doesn't

play15:10

the ones where all their processes are

play15:12

breaking and you can't figure out what

play15:13

to put on the road map is usually the

play15:16

one that's company a they're just broad

play15:17

they have multiple positions and they

play15:19

haven't really carved out a core

play15:21

position and they haven't really found

play15:22

fit with any given segment and so we're

play15:24

trying to encourage Founders here to

play15:26

move don't be company a be Company B um

play15:28

there's a time for company a in

play15:30

experimentation but then you have to

play15:31

make that

play15:32

choice and so okay those are our

play15:35

principles for positioning to to recap

play15:37

think small in the early days position

play15:39

relative to where you are and what the

play15:41

actual Milestone is for you in terms of

play15:43

goals um and and in doing so it's really

play15:47

about just making some simple choices

play15:48

who you're for um what you're building

play15:50

it to do and if you get those right um

play15:52

you're on the the right path and so now

play15:54

I want to share with you what we call

play15:55

our minimum viable positioning framework

play15:57

this gets a little bit more t IAL into

play15:59

how we do

play16:00

this uh and so you'll you'll recognize

play16:02

some similarities here even to the cube

play16:04

model and how we think about things and

play16:06

so the the flow when we're working with

play16:08

with Founders um is usually starting

play16:10

Market first as I said in the very

play16:12

beginning we were big Believers and like

play16:13

you got to know who you're building for

play16:15

what problem are you solving and it

play16:16

starts with who has the the freaking

play16:18

problem um in B2B there are two elements

play16:21

to pull on there uh the department um

play16:23

sometimes we'll call this team or the

play16:25

champion and and what we say in B2B is

play16:28

because it's multi-person you want to

play16:30

pick the person or team that is close

play16:34

enough to the problem you have but has

play16:36

enough influence to basically be your

play16:38

biggest cheerleader and get you in front

play16:40

of a bunch of different audiences and

play16:42

stakeholders to eventually sell your

play16:43

deal um and we would say position for

play16:46

them and then you can always support

play16:47

with additional messages for these

play16:49

different audiences but this is going to

play16:50

be the one to help you translate that

play16:52

company type usually is industry

play16:54

sometimes it's business model but it can

play16:56

also be other criteria and things like

play16:57

well what teex stack are they on and

play16:59

like what integration is it that's going

play17:00

to power this eventual use case that we

play17:02

have and so that's really step one here

play17:04

is identify the audience of who you're

play17:05

positioning for who you're actually

play17:07

going to message for and then there's

play17:09

two approaches um that we've uncovered

play17:11

doing this with over 150 companies to

play17:13

actually explain your product and the

play17:15

idea is it's all about finding reference

play17:18

points to explain your product on or

play17:21

against the most direct one is on use

play17:24

case telling them exactly what they

play17:26

would use your product to do um for very

play17:29

novel new products this isn't always the

play17:31

best route because the use case isn't

play17:33

that well known it's like well we're not

play17:34

really doing that which is brings us

play17:36

into the competitive anchors and even

play17:39

though we use the word competitive here

play17:40

these are again just reference points so

play17:42

it's not always a replacement even

play17:44

though a lot of times it is these are

play17:46

tools methods existing product

play17:48

categories or sometimes specific

play17:49

competitors for people to understand

play17:52

when they might use your product and so

play17:53

this is the model and example is

play17:55

probably the best way um to unpack this

play17:57

a bit so I actually uh I just posted a

play17:59

version of this today but if we took

play18:01

slack as an example and again everyone

play18:03

in the room knows who this is we're in

play18:04

Tech and so you kind of have to flash

play18:06

back to when slack was beginning they

play18:09

are horizontal they also have to start

play18:11

kind of Bottoms Up from those smaller

play18:12

cubes and the way they think about

play18:13

messaging themselves and so you start to

play18:16

get a sense here of like well these are

play18:17

the different teams they could have

play18:18

positioned for in the early days as well

play18:21

as the different company types that

play18:22

they're now and they have go to market

play18:23

programs that now span all of these and

play18:26

what we surface here are potential use

play18:28

cases and potential competitive anchors

play18:30

to explain you against so if we take

play18:32

this one here basically when we do this

play18:34

with Founders we flush them all out and

play18:37

then we basically pressure test and say

play18:39

like which one is the product actually

play18:42

really good at related to where the

play18:43

problem sucks the most and which way of

play18:46

explaining it's the most compelling and

play18:48

so if we take engineers at software

play18:49

companies doing code reviews you can

play18:52

start to imagine and this flushes this

play18:54

out what the actual expression of that

play18:57

positioning could look like

play18:59

um where you're actually saying like hey

play19:00

you would use slack to do code reviews

play19:04

and here's exactly how you do it and the

play19:06

benefit that you could unpack and slack

play19:08

actually does this if you go to one of

play19:09

their sub Pages this is how they're

play19:10

leading with a message this how they're

play19:11

positioning for engineering teams um in

play19:14

one of their subg go to market

play19:16

programs now what if slack this one

play19:19

starts went the competitive route and

play19:21

not only does this one go the

play19:22

competitive route but this is actually

play19:23

and I'll share you a little bit more in

play19:24

a second this is audience agnostic

play19:27

positioning which we don't always

play19:28

encourage you could see the grade out

play19:30

there's no Department there's no company

play19:31

type this is what they have on their

play19:33

homepage and so they're trying to speak

play19:35

to all of these audiences which I guess

play19:37

they can get by with a little bit today

play19:38

now that they have a little bit more

play19:39

brand recognition but here they're

play19:41

positioning against email and so when

play19:43

they're explaining themselves to support

play19:45

this positioning instead of saying

play19:47

here's all the use cases they reference

play19:49

email as a way to then understand oh I I

play19:52

know what I would use slack for uh and

play19:54

then they can craft a message to support

play19:56

how they actually do that a couple more

play19:58

examples here I brought up audience

play20:01

agnostic positioning in that slack

play20:03

example here are two more especially for

play20:05

horizontal companies where and Loom did

play20:07

this for a while in their growth stage

play20:09

where they positioned against very uh

play20:11

not email but unproductive meetings and

play20:14

in a competitive framework another thing

play20:15

to keep in mind usually when you're

play20:16

doing competiting especially when it's a

play20:18

replacement angle it's a reflection of

play20:21

energy you're trying to say don't go

play20:22

left go right don't book a meeting send

play20:25

a video link instead that's what Loom

play20:27

was trying to do by creating that

play20:29

reference point as a way to explain the

play20:31

product CLE did it a little differently

play20:33

they weren't trying to get you to stop

play20:35

scheduling meetings online that's what

play20:36

you were doing that's the use case the

play20:38

activity that's already being carried

play20:39

out they're simply saying we've got a

play20:41

10x better way to do it and so the

play20:43

energy is more of a capture of existing

play20:45

energy and saying hey we do it better

play20:47

we're not trying to reflect the energy

play20:49

and so these are the options that

play20:50

surface themselves and and what what

play20:52

will happen now is you'll start to see

play20:53

these show up likely in in messaging

play20:56

everywhere um we can't unse see them as

play20:59

you progress and even in like if you go

play21:02

dig into these Pages they're likely

play21:03

using some layering of both approach

play21:06

from a positioning standpoint it's

play21:07

really just a matter of what you're

play21:09

leading with what's the tip of the spear

play21:11

to get people to understand you that

play21:13

starts to surface your potential value

play21:15

related to your

play21:17

application and then final example here

play21:20

uh in the canvas this is our company

play21:22

Fletch we are very focused right so when

play21:25

we think about minimum viable

play21:27

positioning not only are we anchoring on

play21:29

use case in the way we position

play21:30

ourselves uh but we also have the rest

play21:33

of these these boxes filled out in

play21:35

detail in the way we explain ourselves

play21:37

and so when you think about how you

play21:39

might apply this it's really about how

play21:41

many of these anchoring points on the

play21:43

lefthand side that represent the market

play21:45

elements can you lean into to more

play21:47

clearly explain your product and as you

play21:49

might imagine the more elements you have

play21:51

the more specific that cube is right

play21:53

we're basically picking a more specific

play21:55

segment in the

play21:56

market and so that's our that's really

play21:59

how we view positioning our minimum

play22:01

viable positioning framework to surface

play22:04

options um and really again it's about

play22:06

figuring out what's the clearest most

play22:08

compelling way to explain your product

play22:10

to your ideal

play22:11

customer um I have some key principles

play22:14

on messaging I said I'd keep this to 20

play22:16

minutes and so I'm going to I'm going to

play22:17

fly through these a little bit they're

play22:18

very straightforward um and we can

play22:20

always Circle back and and double click

play22:22

into some of these examples the

play22:23

principles that I want to share and

play22:25

really the first one I really hit home

play22:26

because it ties directly into

play22:28

positioning but it's a mistake we see

play22:29

all the time Market to your s not your

play22:31

Tam Market on use cases not outcomes

play22:34

we'll talk about this lead with

play22:36

capabilities not benefits share first

play22:39

order benefits not second and third

play22:41

order and then message on surface level

play22:43

problems and so I'll try and do a let's

play22:44

do like a minute per on each of these

play22:46

and then we'll get to some good Q&A and

play22:48

so this is probably one of the biggest

play22:49

mistakes we see I've hit on this a bit

play22:51

so I'm actually just going to share with

play22:52

you an example of what this starts to

play22:53

look like if you start to message to too

play22:56

many segments at once when you're early

play22:58

um flat out it's just not going to work

play23:00

no one knows who you are you're going to

play23:02

be broad you're going to end up with

play23:03

messages like this where you basically

play23:04

say it could do anything and it could be

play23:07

for anyone like you got to avoid this um

play23:11

we see this show up uh and sometimes we

play23:13

like to poke fun of it at larger

play23:14

companies um we see this show up all the

play23:16

time these are actually messages that

play23:18

were used by very successful companies

play23:20

uh and we think they were doing

play23:21

themselves a disservice one platform

play23:23

many solutions one workspace endless

play23:25

Solutions connect everything achieve any

play23:27

thing and this again was a was a real

play23:29

one that we saw that uh we can't believe

play23:32

they're they're using that as a message

play23:34

Market use cases not outcomes so um what

play23:37

this really gets into is avoid

play23:40

abstractions avoid what and this is

play23:42

counter to what you hear in a lot of

play23:44

like marketing gurus that are out there

play23:47

um that say sell the progress sell the

play23:51

outcome and there's some truth in that

play23:53

you do sell the outcome but when you're

play23:55

positioning and doing early messaging

play23:56

the burden is on them even just

play23:58

understanding what the heck you do and

play23:59

who they're for and so you can't do

play24:02

outcomes until they're clear on what the

play24:03

use case is and what they' actually do

play24:05

with the product and so we've got some

play24:06

funny examples here um real

play24:09

advertisement on the Le hand side

play24:11

actually telling you what you could do

play24:12

with that you would go swimming in these

play24:13

shoes if they heard a B2B marketer they

play24:16

probably wouldn't do this and we see SAS

play24:17

and B2B scattered with this kind of

play24:19

thing all the time um Apple we joke

play24:23

Apple does a really wonderful job and gr

play24:25

granted they are a consumer product that

play24:26

has a physical good so it's kind of

play24:28

baked in but for them if it was SAS

play24:30

they'd probably lead into one of these

play24:32

messages I'll skip through some examples

play24:34

here this is really the key thing I want

play24:36

to want to be able to share be concrete

play24:38

and we see this a lot executive ego is

play24:40

same thing as Founders Vision be

play24:42

specific on what your product can do

play24:43

today those use cases and ignore these

play24:46

abstract outcomes that happen later so

play24:48

really key principle in our

play24:49

framework next one here lead with

play24:52

capabilities not benefits this goes hand

play24:54

inand with the previous uh principle

play24:56

that we have but this is where it it

play24:58

really starts to get into like get into

play25:00

the product and we we built our value

play25:04

prop framework um one of the core

play25:06

elements in there that we think was

play25:07

missing of like what's in a value

play25:08

proposition is this this terminology we

play25:10

call capability and the way we defined

play25:13

it is it's the it's what someone would

play25:15

actually do with the feature and so loom

play25:18

video and screen recording what would I

play25:20

do with it record a quick uh

play25:21

demonstration videos to share with your

play25:23

team benefit the outcome of using that

play25:26

capability and so this is really

play25:29

important here capabilities end up being

play25:31

um not only the bridge to benefits but

play25:33

they're the thing you should lead with

play25:34

right so they they're the connecting

play25:36

piece of oh there's the use case here's

play25:38

the capability for how I would actually

play25:40

address that use case here's the benefit

play25:42

of the capability and then I can get to

play25:44

these higher level second order outcomes

play25:46

as I'll speak to in a moment so really

play25:48

important and sorry for flying around

play25:50

but we I want to hit on these and get to

play25:52

the get to your's questions uh share

play25:54

first order benefits not multi-order

play25:56

benefits and so assuming your leading

play25:58

with use case and supporting with

play25:59

capabilities then we talk about benefits

play26:01

and these come in a lot of different

play26:02

flavors this is the key visual that I

play26:04

want to

play26:06

share the core takeaway here is your

play26:09

your broader outcomes and benefits are

play26:12

going to be your least differentiated

play26:14

and in

play26:15

B2B all roads lead to get more customers

play26:19

save time make more money grow revenue

play26:21

of some way shape or form but everybody

play26:24

says this and so like if you say this

play26:27

it's it's just not differentiated right

play26:29

and so what we say is pull come back to

play26:31

as close to the product as you can and

play26:34

speak to those benefits all right so

play26:37

Asana your team will complete projects

play26:39

way faster it's like that's if you use

play26:41

their project management tool that's a

play26:43

first order benefit that you could use

play26:45

to message you could always walk it out

play26:47

well if I complete projects faster I'll

play26:49

launch more features if I launch more

play26:50

features I'll increase my customers will

play26:53

be happier if my customers are happier

play26:55

they'll probably tell more people about

play26:56

it and if they tell more people about it

play26:57

more people probably get more customers

play26:59

and more customers means more Revenue

play27:01

there's such a tendency to message out

play27:02

here and when you sell you do have to

play27:05

eventually get to this on a personalized

play27:06

level but when you position in Market

play27:09

you got to stay closer to here one more

play27:11

example here just to kind of hit this

play27:12

home like real uh real messaging in the

play27:15

wild none of these products directly

play27:19

compete with each other we got gong

play27:22

that's like Revenue intelligence you

play27:24

know listening in on sales calls Mutiny

play27:27

really website personalization fcus is a

play27:30

product LED growth dream data is a

play27:33

attribution tool they're all completely

play27:34

different serving very different use

play27:36

cases they all say grow revenue and they

play27:38

all sound alike and they're doing

play27:40

themselves a disservice from a

play27:41

positioning standpoint okay last one

play27:43

here message on surface level problems

play27:45

so like the the final piece of like the

play27:47

the value proposition in our in our

play27:49

model and our framework um we see this a

play27:52

lot with and this is well-intentioned

play27:53

but this issue happens um yeah we we'll

play27:56

work at this example

play27:58

example the idea here is that your

play28:02

target prospects and customers likely

play28:05

don't know as much about the problem

play28:07

you're solving because if you're

play28:09

building your product from a really

play28:11

differentiated way usually it means

play28:12

you're solving it from a core first

play28:15

principle standpoint so like core

play28:17

problem and so if we walk out this

play28:20

example uh there could be tempting let's

play28:23

say you're a warehouse solution um that

play28:27

you basically have an efficient rotation

play28:30

system for warehouses so that packages

play28:32

are always delivered on time it can be

play28:34

tempting to mesent message near the

play28:36

bottom down here where um you're really

play28:40

speaking to like is your Warehouse shift

play28:42

rotation system not very efficient your

play28:45

target audience probably doesn't think

play28:46

of this right and so when we go back up

play28:48

to the surface this is like what are

play28:49

they really struggling with these are

play28:51

the things they're struggling with well

play28:52

our packages keep getting delayed well

play28:54

why are they getting delayed uh well the

play28:56

loading process takes longer than we we

play28:58

realize why does it take longer well we

play29:01

have really limited staff to load the

play29:02

trucks why do you have limited staff

play29:04

because employees have been taking

play29:05

unscheduled time off why are employees

play29:07

taking unscheduled time off because we

play29:09

don't have an efficient system right and

play29:11

so even if this is the problem you're

play29:12

solving you have to message on the

play29:14

struggling moments because this is

play29:15

what's going to earn you a conversation

play29:17

where then you can educate them and

play29:19

bring them down to the root cause of

play29:20

this and so same idea here and then

play29:23

we'll jump to questions but for gong um

play29:27

gong basically is solving at the very

play29:29

core it's a data Silo problem data's

play29:33

everywhere it's not connected and then

play29:35

there's all these lost insights but if

play29:37

you go to a VP of sales and tell him

play29:38

he's got a data Silo problem he's gonna

play29:41

look at you weird and be like get out of

play29:43

here I don't what are you talking about

play29:44

data Silo problem but if you go to that

play29:46

VP of sales and you say hey I bet you

play29:49

listen to one of your your reps and

play29:50

they're not using the most up-to-date

play29:53

pitch they're likely going to change

play29:54

their tune B oh my gosh that's exactly

play29:56

what I'm struggling with with and then

play29:58

you create this opportunity for dialogue

play29:59

and conversation around like well how

play30:01

are you actually going to make sure that

play30:02

my rep is using the right sales pitch

play30:04

and this goes into then like you can

play30:06

apply your product into this piece and

play30:08

so last principle for us message on

play30:10

service level problems and not uh root

play30:13

cause problems when it comes to your

play30:15

marketing all right and that is uh what

play30:18

I wanted to cover um probably a good

play30:22

segue into Q&A and uh I will be able to

play30:25

hang around also for a bit of the the

play30:32

networking awesome awesome thank you so

play30:35

much for that presentation Rob I think

play30:38

the content was amazing the folks agree

play30:40

you can probably see all the emojis on

play30:42

your screen right now a ton of Applause

play30:44

Hearts all that good stuff and also a

play30:47

really cool thing is we had over in fact

play30:50

we still have over 300 people uh live

play30:53

with us so yeah awesome I you're a

play30:56

pretty popular guy like like ahan

play30:59

said totally appreciate you all sticking

play31:01

around and uh thanks for joining us

play31:03

today what's the best way Daniel to

play31:06

maybe knife into some of these questions

play31:08

awesome so what I'll do is I'll just

play31:10

bring uh the questions on stage one by

play31:12

one and we can kind of go through them

play31:14

uh I know you spoke about this briefly

play31:17

at the start of your presentation but

play31:19

just for the folks uh in the audience

play31:21

could you maybe talk about this again

play31:23

how do you know when you've achieved

play31:24

product Market fit for an early stage

play31:26

startup

play31:27

yeah it this is one of those funny

play31:29

things where um if you have to ask you

play31:33

don't have it kind of a thing and so

play31:35

some of the other definitions that come

play31:36

in that I think are more

play31:38

qualitative um the one that I I've

play31:40

always quite liked U just from a

play31:42

qualitative nature and I believe it's

play31:44

Michael Cel at YC talks about it of like

play31:47

it's basically when people are pulling

play31:48

the product out of your hand faster than

play31:50

you can actually build it right so

play31:52

things are fundamentally breaking the

play31:55

issue is that's not a very helpful

play31:56

definition right and so for us I I come

play31:59

back of like how do I know I have fit it

play32:01

starts to get when it really comes back

play32:03

to two words predictability and

play32:05

repeatability across everything that

play32:07

you're doing and so in our model when we

play32:09

think about repeatability can I continue

play32:11

to get in front of new prospects that I

play32:15

that I think will likely buy my product

play32:16

right and that's part of that go to

play32:17

market fit if you get in front of them

play32:19

and that's really the name of the game

play32:21

for early stage you're going to have

play32:23

some success and then then the question

play32:25

is can I repeatedly close them like how

play32:27

good am I at closing them right that

play32:28

solves for the first half of the

play32:30

equation of can I show value can I show

play32:33

that credibility and trust that I

play32:34

actually can solve the problem enough

play32:36

for them to give me money big part of it

play32:38

then they come into the

play32:40

product you actually have to get them to

play32:43

value and so it's very possible to have

play32:45

a really good foothold and path into

play32:48

product Market fit where you're finding

play32:49

people you're selling people but if the

play32:51

product doesn't do what it says it does

play32:53

and you see this in SAS you'll hear the

play32:55

terminology like a leaky bucket it means

play32:57

you don't have all the way fit you found

play33:00

you found a real Market problem you

play33:01

found a real way to sell but your

play33:03

solution's off and so you that's where

play33:06

you start to fix fix the Leaky bucket

play33:08

and there's a t you start to get into a

play33:10

bunch of stuff of like where's the value

play33:12

are we activating right is there too

play33:13

many features all the things um but if

play33:15

you actually solve for those three

play33:16

things retention will be there and not

play33:18

only retention upsell cross sell word of

play33:21

mouth and the whole system becomes

play33:23

stable and so um good question big

play33:27

question that's how we think of it in

play33:28

terms of the the moving pieces and

play33:32

parts awesome thank you for that answer

play33:34

and I think this is a good segue into

play33:36

the next question here from Brian is a

play33:39

con MP the best way to find product

play33:41

Market fit in the idea stage uh pre MP

play33:44

like what's kind of the best structure

play33:47

here yeah best is relative I love coner

play33:52

MVPs I think not only are they cheap and

play33:55

easy to do but they're just super

play33:58

effective they force you to actually

play34:00

prioritize the most critical pieces of

play34:02

that first part if you're actually

play34:04

trying to sell something the coner

play34:06

approach is basically how we built

play34:09

Fletch my partner and I we started

play34:13

publicly trying to scratch problems on

play34:16

LinkedIn where we're like Consulting in

play34:18

public trying to say hey this is an

play34:20

issue with product marketing and this is

play34:21

an issue with messaging all these things

play34:23

and like we didn't have it yet this is a

play34:25

few years ago now and people would come

play34:27

in and what that got us is a little bit

play34:30

of trust and credibility where someone a

play34:31

Founder would eventually raise their

play34:33

hand and say hey can you help me and

play34:36

we'd hop on a call and we' like what do

play34:38

you need help with and we were pitching

play34:40

really from the hip live we had we

play34:43

didn't have very many Frameworks we

play34:44

didn't have a service in this analogy

play34:46

from a software standpoint don't have

play34:48

the whole product but we did have we

play34:51

knew we were on to something in terms of

play34:52

our approach and so we were very

play34:54

comfortable and this is what I encourage

play34:55

early stage founders you have to be

play34:58

comfortable selling something that isn't

play35:00

there it's it's not sketchy because if

play35:03

your intentions are in the right place

play35:05

you are there trying to help and you

play35:07

should use that honesty as a as a place

play35:10

to balance the conversation and this is

play35:11

what a lot of Founders get wrong is they

play35:13

think like no if I don't have it that's

play35:14

like sleazy sales stuff you should tell

play35:18

your early prospects after you've had

play35:20

the conversation that oh by the way like

play35:22

this is like the first time we're doing

play35:23

this right and so like because with

play35:25

there comes benefits it's like well you

play35:27

get white glove and we're going to

play35:28

customize it for you but just know like

play35:30

there might be some bumps along the way

play35:31

and like that tells you that you're on

play35:33

the right path and so the short answer

play35:35

to your question I love the concierge

play35:37

model I think it's underused um but it

play35:40

is relative to what you're building

play35:42

because you know if you're going a

play35:44

high-tech route you know you think

play35:47

SpaceX and all that you can't really

play35:49

coner a rocket and so you just got to be

play35:51

mindful of your constraints um and

play35:53

prioritize the key pieces of like what

play35:55

you're testing in a way that's really

play35:56

reasonable and also

play35:58

ethical awesome yeah you can really con

play36:01

as a rocket so unfortunately no yeah

play36:05

unfortunately so moving on to the next

play36:07

question here uh we have this from

play36:09

pashal how can one position scalably

play36:13

with multiple products for example

play36:15

multiple HR product startups positioning

play36:17

for scale yeah this one here we see this

play36:21

all the time find the wedge um actually

play36:24

if you give me if you give me one moment

play36:27

here I can bring up another visual

play36:29

that'll help guide this answer the fact

play36:32

like especially early stage right and so

play36:34

I know we don't have the context totally

play36:35

of whether you're um you have traction

play36:38

or you're just getting started and

play36:39

here's the visual you think about but

play36:41

especially if you're just getting

play36:43

started share my

play36:45

screen when you have multiple products

play36:48

right this goes into that piece of I am

play36:50

either a suite or I am a a platform that

play36:52

can do all these things there's three

play36:54

ways to approach that the one that I

play36:56

can't recommend more is sell the main

play36:59

wedge and and stripe did this for a

play37:01

while stripe has 19 products today in

play37:03

the financial space which they call like

play37:05

their financial infrastructure but if

play37:07

you go even to today's positioning they

play37:08

position around payments the first three

play37:11

Scrolls of their website are all leading

play37:13

with payments payments payments because

play37:14

they know if they can be well known for

play37:16

payments they can then upsell and cross-

play37:19

sell all their other products and bring

play37:21

you into that Suite it's this is also

play37:23

the best route because remember you have

play37:24

limited resources so the idea that you

play37:26

think you can go build three use cases

play37:28

for three different groups at the same

play37:29

time like getting one to work is super

play37:32

hard you're not going to get three to

play37:34

work it can happen takes a lot of time

play37:36

this is where we start to get into

play37:38

selling multiple wedges Monday did this

play37:41

the issue here it's so Capital intensive

play37:45

this is huge risk bet and they basically

play37:48

outraised everyone they built multiple

play37:50

products and then they went to Market

play37:52

with three products and then used them

play37:53

as this like cohesive platform on the

play37:55

back end you can do it not one I

play37:58

recommend especially not for early early

play37:59

stage and definitely not for like

play38:01

finding fit I think it's super risky and

play38:03

then this last one is just selling the

play38:04

bundle calling yourself the thing like

play38:07

we do all things and it's really just a

play38:08

collection of multiple

play38:10

products you can do this route if you

play38:14

have virality in your product so you

play38:17

think of the kendley the Looms the

play38:19

slacks right like C Le is a great

play38:22

example by using the product there's a

play38:23

lot of talk of product like growth they

play38:25

have built-in virality

play38:27

everyone who schedules with someone on

play38:28

calendly sees the product and how it

play38:30

works and then they likely try it out

play38:32

they can get by and they're again

play38:34

they're not a platform so it's probably

play38:35

not the perfect example but they can get

play38:37

by doing broader things and like Slack's

play38:39

probably the better example where

play38:40

there's multiple pieces in it the other

play38:42

thing to remember when you're doing this

play38:43

bundle piece and even Microsoft is like

play38:44

the gold standard this took them like 50

play38:46

years they didn't even do it this way

play38:48

they're doing this now they started with

play38:51

the wedge I'm pretty sure they built

play38:53

either word or Excel first and then they

play38:55

branched out and so um it's an awesome

play38:57

question to recap I highly recommend

play39:00

focusing on a single use case fine fit

play39:02

with one product one segment first and

play39:04

then you can broaden and scale and

play39:05

expand from there

play39:11

sequentially awesome and because you're

play39:13

talking about Monday and obviously they

play39:16

they've raised a bunch of money we have

play39:18

this question here Rob what's the

play39:20

average time to find product Market fit

play39:22

in SAS uh they've seen 12 months 24

play39:25

months in various publication of course

play39:26

that depends but for investors Etc uh

play39:30

that knowledge it's it's kind of

play39:31

important right and just to kind of add

play39:34

uh add to this a little bit maybe Rob if

play39:36

you have any insights on uh you

play39:41

know the time that one should spend

play39:44

looking for product Market fit as it

play39:46

relates to trying to raise funds because

play39:49

we're kind of now seeing more and more

play39:51

uh investors looking for more product

play39:53

Market fit ready startups right because

play39:56

because of that's because of the way the

play39:57

market is right now the pedul has swung

play40:00

back right money is harder to come by uh

play40:03

and you're seeing a lot of VCS that are

play40:04

being thinking about efficient growth

play40:06

and profitability which you don't

play40:07

usually see um I think that's exciting I

play40:10

think it does put pressure back on the

play40:11

founders um but in a good way it makes

play40:14

them get their priorities straight and

play40:15

so uh there's a couple questions in

play40:17

there the first one time to product

play40:18

Market

play40:19

fit my goal is not to scare Founders in

play40:22

the

play40:23

room many years is the the benchmark

play40:26

like to me five plus years if you're

play40:29

lucky if you're fast the news and media

play40:33

they show companies that find it in 18

play40:35

months they are the outliers they are

play40:38

the 0.01% of the 1% and so I hope

play40:42

everyone has that um it's so rare and if

play40:46

you even if you ask those Founders the

play40:48

ones that find it that quickly they'll

play40:50

be the first to tell you how lucky they

play40:51

are they either they got found some

play40:54

crazy Trend and actually they didn't

play40:55

even find it they bumped into it like

play40:57

something happened you know you look at

play40:59

like Co happening right I think that

play41:01

vaulted a lot of these companies these

play41:02

remote first products right into fit

play41:05

before they were ready and that's that's

play41:06

fine and the ones that are surviving and

play41:07

flourishing they basically like oh

play41:09

we better figure this out and great now

play41:11

they're super profitable and successful

play41:13

and they had all the growth the reality

play41:15

is this stuff is just incredibly hard

play41:17

there's no Playbook right there's guides

play41:19

and Frameworks and models you can follow

play41:21

which is why we do this to help bring

play41:22

some of the complexity out of it um but

play41:24

it just takes really

play41:26

really hard work for a lot of time and a

play41:28

lot of focus and um I think I don't

play41:31

think it's talked about enough because I

play41:32

think a lot of Founders jump in assuming

play41:34

like I'm gonna give this a try for 12

play41:35

months um I think that's a pretty poor

play41:37

mindset to building things I think even

play41:40

if you're and you're not GNA be able to

play41:42

predict where it goes you should be

play41:44

really excited about the space that

play41:46

you're in and I think that's where the

play41:47

concept of pivots comes in where sure

play41:50

you can give it a try for 12 to to 24

play41:52

months knowing that you might then have

play41:54

to build a whole new thing on mon 25 but

play41:57

where you're you're still on the two

play41:59

three five 10 year track uh and so they

play42:02

just take a lot of

play42:03

time uh that was the first piece in

play42:06

terms of length to fit uh Daniel helped

play42:08

me out there was a second component in

play42:10

there um and I'm yeah yeah more so the

play42:15

the question was you know what should uh

play42:18

you know Founders expect in terms of

play42:20

like how quickly should they be looking

play42:22

for product Market fit as it kind of

play42:24

relates to fundraising right fundraising

play42:26

that's what it was um to me I look at

play42:32

fundraising uh it's kind of interesting

play42:34

and they there's actually studies that's

play42:35

kind of backed this up Founders are very

play42:37

uh willing to take risk but when you

play42:39

actually like boil it down they're

play42:40

actually quite risk averse and that's

play42:42

how I think about fundraising I would be

play42:45

very reluctant to take

play42:47

money um I would only take money if it

play42:49

helps me scale something I've already

play42:51

built to me taking money to figure out

play42:55

how to finish building the plane in the

play42:56

sky I always found as like that's silly

play43:01

and um there's some there are exceptions

play43:04

I would say like if you really do have a

play43:06

reputation and accessibility to the

play43:08

money like there's some people that'll

play43:09

say yeah take it and run with it you're

play43:10

doing it on someone else's dime that's

play43:12

fine to me what I see is that money

play43:15

without fit or without a good portion of

play43:18

fit if you think across our model is a

play43:20

recipe for disaster you're going to make

play43:22

all the wrong decisions at all the wrong

play43:24

times because it's well it's time to be

play43:26

at 10 million ARR I guess I better come

play43:29

up with a plan for 10 million ARR that's

play43:32

not how the markets work right that's

play43:34

not how customers get value from your

play43:35

product you have to build it Brick by

play43:38

Brick and so like to me the inverse of

play43:41

this question is like why do I think

play43:43

most companies fail the venture-backed

play43:45

ones scaling too fast and at the root of

play43:48

that is taking money too early and so

play43:51

there's no set Benchmark it kind of

play43:52

depends on access to funds how willing

play43:55

you are to to take the risk that you

play43:57

could build it midair I think about the

play43:59

Benchmark for me is that when I when I

play44:02

feel and a lot of this is qualitative

play44:03

but also when I have proof of

play44:06

repeatability um and predictability then

play44:09

I'm ready to take money because then

play44:11

it's not I I can actually see the

play44:13

potential outcome and I know exactly

play44:15

what I'm going to use the money for and

play44:16

I just think not enough people they just

play44:18

like get money and I guess I build a

play44:19

team I'd rather give me money so I can

play44:23

go put X dollars into this and Y dollars

play44:25

into that for the next 12 months so that

play44:27

I can get result Z like that's how I

play44:29

think about it and if I don't have X Y

play44:31

and Z in that in that answer I'm just

play44:34

not ready and I would say most Founders

play44:36

aren't yeah and I think it also kind of

play44:38

speaks to determining whether or not

play44:41

you're even a went your back about

play44:43

business too right because a lot of

play44:45

Founders they set they have their heart

play44:47

set on raising but like as you kind of

play44:49

go along look for product Market fit

play44:51

build out your product you realize hey

play44:54

maybe you know I don't I can make like a

play44:56

100 million you know well that's that's

play44:59

that is a beautiful question too it's

play45:00

like what are your goals and VC money

play45:03

will tell you your goals it's to be a

play45:05

billion dollar company it's to get to

play45:06

100 million

play45:09

ARR most Founders they don't really want

play45:12

that goal like some Founders want you

play45:15

know some of them just want to solve

play45:17

problems and work on cool stuff that's

play45:18

great some of them do want to make $10

play45:20

million retire early you know work on

play45:22

things they're passionate about that's

play45:24

cool too it's like each Financial goal