Product launches are exhilarating – the team is ready to go, aligned, partly terrified, but thrilled to hit the market. The reality is that the real uphill climb comes afterwards.
In a formulation made by Marc Andreessen more than ten years ago, companies test prototypes of products that scale as soon as they find their market fit and it looks something like this:
The reality is that the market is much more complex. B2B are a medley of customers, product use cases, purchasing processes and geographic oddities. Fitting your product into its market is only the start of a long process.
Once a company scales inside its market, the speed picks up. Customers are buying the product as quickly as it can be made, and word of mouth is spreading. You are in tune with your team and customers, and are now attracting attention, and competition. Someone is behind you ready to take your idea and benefit from your errors, and customers are interested in their own benefits. What will happen once the relationship between market and product is saturated? Did you measure the size of your market accurately? Answers to these questions will prevent your existing products and relationships from stagnating into repetition.
CEOs and their teams should reassess and evolve their product/market portfolio to maintain growth. How will you regenerate yourself? How will you keep yourself on an improvement curve that matches your skills with the learnings from the first product-market fit experience? Design a model that looks like the graph below: a sequence of new channels, products and geographies that together add up to a scaling revenue.
To go deeper, check out Marc Andreessen’s original blog post, thanks to the wayback machine.