What is Problem-solution fit

February 7, 2024

The most important milestone on our journey to Product-market fit is Problem-solution fit, this is the point when you have a functional product that is solving the problem you intended to solve for your target market. This exciting milestone of the startup journey hopefully comes at the point when you launch your MVP and your early adopters begin to use your product. But as experienced founders will know, this often is not the case as there is always a gap between how you think your product will be used or how effective you think your product will be and how it is used and how effective your product actually is.

If a good portion of your early adopters can testify that your product effectively solves their problem means you have achieved Problem-solution fit.

Slack Found Problem-Solution Quickly

Slack, who aims to address the problem of inefficiency and complication of centralised communication in large workforces, reached Problem-solution fit, immediately after they launched as their early adopters gave Slack great reviews on how it simplified their communications.

Slack for sales: Adoption guide | Slack

Instagram had to pivot to find Problem-Solution Fit

Many startups need to iterate and pivot to find their Problem-solution fit. Instagram, which actually started as “Burbn”, a location-based social networking app for sharing photos and checking in at various locations. Founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger wanted to allow users to share their activities, connect with friends, and explore what others were doing nearby. However, the feature-heavy app proved difficult to use so they pivoted towards a much simpler app that focused on the problem of simplifying photo sharing with filters which they were effectively able to do.

The most obvious piece of advice to helping you achieve Problem-solution fit here is to talk to your customers. Founders should aim to deeply understand the problems their users are facing, to deeply understand what would solve the problem for them and after they use the product, deeply understand how well the product solved their problem.

Instagram Evolution by Anna Vital

If you have achieved Problem-solution fit, a quick pat on the back, but roll up your sleeves because it’s going to be hard work to get to the next milestone on our journey to Product-market fit.

If you would like some guidance in how to get there, check out our guide here.To access our Product-market fit tool kit click here. To speak to me about how you can get to product-market fit click here.

Joe Young

Co-founder of Mayfly Ventures, Joe talks about #product-market-fit #GTM-Strategy #Capital-Raising

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