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Your old data could be hiding the secret to Product Market Fit
Grinding to find product market fit is a normal operating paradigm when you start a company. The discontinuous nature of hunting this beast…
Grinding to find product market fit is a normal operating paradigm when you start a company. The discontinuous nature of hunting this beast is stressful AF. You search for signal in lots of noise, feeling in the dark for pull from the user, signs of engagement, indications of willingness to pay. You battle to the top of a hill, only to realize this path is a local maxima that leads back down into the grinding noise of your vision against the realities of the market.
Maintaining the conceptual continuity of testing products and features in the search for market acceptance is where you spend most of your time — effort is applied to creating products that represent your vision and learning from the market data that they generate. Iterate. Iterate. Iterate. Solve the puzzle.
But this search is episodic and these periods of continuity are interrupted by revolutionary insights revealed by anomalies in the data. Success is when the market reacts in an unexpected way and changes your thinking on the user, the product, the vision or all three.
Sometimes people I have partnered with do the hard work to discover the anomaly but miss the opportunity because it requires a new operating paradigm. In this mode, you immediately start to build new tests to gather new data to validate, de-risk or disprove the new solution to the old puzzle. You miss it because you are puzzle solving in the old paradigm and trying to make sense of the anomaly within the same framing of the business and operating approach.
When you do this you miss an opportunity for an even larger step change in the trajectory of your company. Instead of jumping right to new data capture, consider if the anomaly is showing you a new puzzle. If the anomaly you have discovered changes the rules of the game and redefines the map directing where you should focus your energy to create the most value, you can start by asking new questions of old data. The answers to these questions will guide you to new KPIs, new channels for customer acquisition, new product priorities etc.
Often, when you look at your old data through the lens of the new operating paradigm it will tell you a brand new story — and reveal a ton of value you didn’t know was there.