Why the diﬀerence?
• Is it because of…
• the company / brand image?
• the money they have?
• the people they have?
• the markets they are in?
• the technology they have?
• the processes they have?
• the location they are based out of?
• …anything else?
Problem-solving is not a
Source: Damien Newman
Problem with tradi/onal product
From: Running Lean – Ash Maurya The Startup Owners Manual – Steve Blank
“In large companies, the mistakes just have
addi7onal zeroes in them” – Steve Blank
9 Deadly Sins of New Product
Assuming “I know what the customer wants”
The “I know what features to build” ﬂaw
Focus on launch date
Emphasis on execu7on instead of hypotheses, tes7ng, learning and itera7on
Tradi7on business plans presume no trial and no errors
Confusing tradi7onal job 7tles with what a startup needs to accomplish
Sales and Marke7ng execute to a plan
Presump7on of success leads to premature scaling
Management by Crisis leads to “Death Spiral”
From: Startup Owner’s Manual
• Who are my “customers”?
• What is their pain point?
• How are they living with it today?
• What would they do if they had options?
• How much would they pay for it?
• Will they prepay you now for a solution?
Jobs describe the things your
customers are trying to get done in
their work or in their life.
A customer job could be the tasks they
are trying to perform and complete, the
problems they are trying to solve, or
the needs they are trying to satisfy.
Type of Jobs
• Functional Jobs
• Social Jobs
• Personal Jobs
• Supporting Jobs
Pains describe anything that annoys your
customers before, during, and after trying to
get a job done or simply prevents them from
getting a job done. Pains also describe risks,
that is, potential bad outcomes, related to
getting a job done badly or not at all.
A customer pain can be extreme or moderate,
similar to how jobs can be important or
insigniﬁcant to the customer.
Type of Pains
• Undesired outcomes, problems or
• Risks (undesired potential outcomes)
Gains describe the outcomes and beneﬁts
your customers want. Some gains are
required, expected, or desired by customers,
and some would surprise them. Gains include
functional utility, social gains, positive
emotions, and cost savings.
A customer gain can feel essential or nice to
have, just like pains can feel extreme or
moderate to them.
Products and Services
This is simply a list of what you offer. Think of
it as all the items your customers can see in
your shop window—metaphorically speaking
This bundle of products and services helps
your customers complete either functional,
social, or emotional jobs or helps them
satisfy basic needs
Types of Products /
• Physical / Tangible
Pain relievers describe how exactly your
products and services alleviate speciﬁc
They explicitly outline how you intend to
eliminate or reduce some of the things that
annoy your customers before, during, or after
they are trying to complete a job or that prevent
them from doing so.
Gain creators describe how your products
and services create customer gains.
They explicitly outline how you intend to
produce outcomes and beneﬁts that your
customer expects, desires, or would be
surprised by, including functional utility, social
gains, positive emotions, and cost savings.
Pain Relievers vs Gain
Pain relievers and gain creators both create value
for the customer in different ways. The difference
is that the former speciﬁcally addresses pains in
the customer proﬁle, while the latter speciﬁcally
addresses gains. It is okay if either of them
addresses pains and gains at the same time.
The main goal of these two areas is to make the
customer value creation of your products and
You achieve ﬁt when customers get
excited about your value proposition,
which happens when you address
important jobs, alleviate extreme
pains, and create essential gains that
customers care about.
Fit is hard to ﬁnd and maintain.
So, what is PMF?
Marc Andressan (2007):
Product/market ﬁt means being in a good market with a product that
can satisfy that market.
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
Paul Graham (2008):
Make things people want.
Achieving product/market ﬁt requires at least 40% of users saying
they would be “very disappointed” without your product.
PMF as a pre-condition to scaling up business!
Michael Seibel (2016):
Focusing on market ﬁrst!
How do you know you have “PMF”?
“You can always feel product/market ﬁt when it's
happening. The customers are buying the product
just as fast as you can make it -- or usage is growing
just as fast as you can add more servers. Money from
customers is piling up in your company checking
account. You're hiring sales and customer support
staﬀ as fast as you can. Reporters are calling
because they've heard about your hot new thing and
they want to talk to you about it. You start getting
entrepreneur of the year awards from Harvard
Business School. Investment bankers are staking out
your house.” – Marc Andreessen
…and when you don’t!
You can always feel when product/
market ﬁt isn’t happening. The
customers aren’t quite getting value
out of the product, word of mouth isn’t
spreading, usage isn’t growing that
fast, press reviews are kind of “blah”,
the sales cycle takes too long, and lots
of deals never close. – Marc
Jeﬀ Rodman co-founded Polycom in 1990.
“There’s a big advantage in starting small. Polycom’s biggest
early breakthrough, for instance, came about as the result of a
95-cent book I purchased from RadioShack in 1991. That
pamphlet taught my cofounder and me about a nerdy topic
known as “acoustic suspension,” a concept that showed us the
fallacy in assuming that big sound demands a big loudspeaker.
Using this simple principle, we were able to go small by bringing
two separate acoustic environments into a compact space. That
tiny shift in our thinking is what set us on the path to selling
millions of phones and changing what conference rooms look
like today — a path that continues to be built from small
innovations, small designs, and small habits.
Over my 25 years at Polycom we’ve had our fair share of big
things, but they didn’t happen by making those big things the
centerpiece. Big things happen because of small things,
which means that if all you do is “go big,” you’ll never actually
get to your goal. To help escape the myth of going big, I want to
share three small things that I’ve learned make a big diﬀerence.”
“It’s always tempting to try to capture some grand
solution in one leap. While that can happen, far
more often the best decisions and the best solutions
are constructed within an environment of small
habits, innovations, and designs. Going small
doesn’t mean you can’t go big. It means that
when you ﬁnally do get big, there is an excellent
chance for it to become a brilliantly remarkable big.”
• Small Innovations
• Small Designs
• Small Habits
• Started in 1994. $25Billion revenues today!
• Fairbank attributes CapitalOne’s success to its “ability
to turn a business into a scientiﬁc laboratory where
every decision…could be subjected to systematic
testing using thousands of experiments”
• 2000: Conducting over 60,000 tests a year!
• 2013: Conducts over 80,000 big data experiments a
year, a number expected to go higher!
• Started CapitalOne Labs in 2011 to develop products
in collaboration with VCs, entrepreneurs and
• Holds regular meetings and competitions to
encourage creation of products in less than 24
• 1943: Lockheed’s Skunkworks delivers XP-80 in just 143 days. 7 days
ahead of schedule
• 1943-45: Ford’s Willow Run plant makes B-24 bombers every 55 minutes!
• 1951-91: Toyota: 40 Years, 20 Million Ideas!
• 1979-84: Dyson’s 5,127 Iterations over 5+ years
• 1983-89: Lexus LS400: 450 iterations and 900 engine prototypes over 5+
• 2008: Wikispeed deliver a 100mpg car prototype in 3 months, and iterates
• 2009: Google claimed to have run over 12,000 randomised experiments,
with about 10% of them leading to business changes.
• 2011: Intuit’s SnapTax team iterated eight time in eight weeks
• 2014: Amazon’s Apollo did 50M code deployments in past 12 months.
That’s more than one code deployment per second!