Product/Market Fit by Marc Andreesen Stanford University, 2007, Selected Quotes web.stanford.edu
This post is all about the only thing that matters for a new startup.
There is an incredibly wide divergence of caliber and quality for the three core elements of each startup -- team, product, and market.
At any given startup, the team will range from outstanding to remarkably flawed; the product will range from a masterpiece of engineering to barely functional; and the market will range from booming to comatose.
And so you start to wonder -- what correlates the most to success -- team, product, or market? Or, more bluntly, what causes success? And, for those of us who are students of startup failure -- what's most dangerous: a bad team, a weak product, or a poor market?
In a great market -- a market with lots of real potential customers -- the market pulls product out of the startup.
The market needs to be fulfilled and the market will be fulfilled, by the first viable product that comes along.
The product doesn't need to be great; it just has to basically work. And, the market doesn't care how good the team is, as long as the team can produce that viable product.
The #1 company-killer is lack of market.
Andy puts it this way:
When a great team meets a lousy market, market wins
When a lousy team meets a great market, market wins.
When a great team meets a great market, something special happens.
When you are BPMF, focus obsessively on getting to product/market fit.
Do whatever is required to get to product/market fit. Including changing out people, rewriting your product, moving into a different market, telling customers no when you don't want to, telling customers yes when you don't want to, raising that fourth round of highly dilutive venture capital -- whatever is required.
When you get right down to it, you can ignore almost everything else.