Marketing · Product Development

Product market fit and selling software - Need help from Non-technical marketing/sales folks

Karthick Sundar Technologist. Looking for a Marketing+Sales cofounder who'll define market needs and sell software

January 26th, 2018

What is the best way to find the product - market fit? There are a few ideas that I am interested to work on, but do not have definitive ways to validate the ideas. I'd really want to find the product-market fit and potential customers and talk to some of them before building the product. How to market something and get future users when there is nothing built?

Godfrey Parkin Cofounder & CEO Britefire, digital strategist, author, founded startups in Europe, UK, US, SA

January 26th, 2018

You don't need a finished product to test if an idea resonates with your market. The fastest way is to create an advertising campaign on Facebook or Twitter (depending on your market) as if you are actually launching. Budget $100 initially. If people click the ad, take them to a "coming soon" landing page where you can ask for their contact details and say you'll email them an early bird discount coupon when the product launches. Click through rate from the ad tells you a lot, including whether your pitch resonates. Leaving contact details tells you a lot about real commitment, and helps you start growing a launch database. Dummy launches also help you understand what type of segment in your market has most interest, and A/B testing different pitches helps you refine your product concept.

Rhydian Howell-Morris Customer Developer and Growth Hacker

January 26th, 2018

Hi Karthick, To find product / market fit especially for a tech ideas you can follow the customer development process. Here is a good lecture on its merits: https://youtu.be/6t0t-CXPpyM If you want some advice on specific methods for your ideas feel free to get in touch to tell me more.

Muazam Sarfaraz Digitalisation Lead, Jaguar Land Rover

January 26th, 2018

Hi, its terrifically important that you go back to fundamentals. i.e. you need to solve a problem for someone who is in turn willing to pay you for it. (i.e. exchange of value).


Step wise:


1) Pick a market you are interested in.

2) Find players in that market, top, second, third. (at least 10/20/30+)

3) Drop them an email on Linkedin, asking to see them with a view to understanding their problems with the skill set you have.

4) Failing that, attend industry events/gatherings for the market and try to strike up conversations.

5) Give a little. (Remember laws of reciprocity).

6) Once you have understood the problem (i.e. how much does it save them/increase their revenue), and the helped devise a theoretic solution, ask them to help you understand how much they will be willing to pay.

7) Rinse and repeat with a handful of players in the market.

8) Build a prototype (software) solution that fixes their issue and take it back to them.

9) Ask them if this is what they were thinking about/help solve their problem and ask if they would be willing to pay to finish the solution.

10) Rinse repeat.

11) Have a sensible Cohort of "paying Customers" and a good understanding of the market / growth potential.

12) Go get some funding if you need it to grow - otherwise keep up the good work.





Ibeh Solomon Teacher|Public Speaker|Content Creator|Thought Leader|Technology Enthusiast

January 26th, 2018

A common suggestion is to create a landing page where you show your product and say that it will be available soon, with a big sign-up button so that interested users can register for updates (you can also add some kind of promotions, such as a discount if you sign up now etc.). Then run a marketing campaign (Adwords and social media). If you collect many sign ups in some weeks, then it's a good sign that people are interested in your product and you go on and invest more, otherwise it's wise to take a step back and iterate on your product or on the way you communicate it. Hope this helps!

Michael Queralt President

January 26th, 2018

Start by mapping your customer and walk on their shoes to understand their supply ecosystem, how do they purchase products, how do they gather information, what events do they attend.. etc- then you can map how they interact with that ecosystem and that should identify ways of reaching them ..

Steve Owens

January 26th, 2018

This is a complex question, and the answer depends a lot on the market your trying to serve. However, here is a very high level overview:


- Start with a problem - not a solution. Develop a deep understanding of the problem. If possible, look for "hemorrhaging" problems as contrasted with "headache" problems - one must be solved, the other you can live with.


- Conceptually develop solutions to the problem - don't need a full product at this point. Sometimes a rendering is all you need, maybe a MVP (Minimally Viable Product). Don't spend a lot of money because the "solution" will likely change anyway.


- Try to sell the solution - ideally the customers "believes" they are actually buying - but there may be nothing to buy. Sometime this a "we are backordered" when they push the "buy now" button, but the exact scenario depends on the industry. Keep track of how much it cost to get each sale - your Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC).


- If you GM - CAC - 20%G&A = a positive number, and the ROI of the invested capital necessary is acceptable, then move forward.


Raj Sark All things Internet of Things #IoT

January 26th, 2018

You should build a minimum viable product MVP - get hold of The Lean Startup audiobook and hear it out.

Goderdzi Bibiluri Brand manager of the biggest media holding in the country (over 30 media outlets and 40 companies)

January 26th, 2018

Think about the problems your product solves, come up with as many problems as possible, host a focus group meeting for each problem, i guess this will take a bit longer then you may be willing to spend on it, but its cheaper (doesn't even require any financing) it will help you develop your product and if focus group questions are chosen correctly you will know exactly who is your customer and get more ideas for the future development of the program.

To be honest with you i have never had such kind of problem in my life, i don't know how you created product without knowing who the customer was or how big was the market, but anyways its a good experience,

if you decide to conduct research id like to help you out since your case seems interesting

Takeshi Uchiha soy objetivo me gusta trazar me una meta tener desafíos que me incentiven para creser

January 26th, 2018

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Rob Hirsch Traveler, nature lover, & entrepreneur

February 3rd, 2018

The question everyone with an idea asks, or should be asking. Distilled down, the steps are:

Make an MVP website using squarespace, wordpress, or a similar company. From scratch, this will take a roughly $100 and 80 hours of your time.


Start "talking" to people. Create social media ads & see if anyone bites that way. Join groups & see if people find this a problem. Make your site SEO-friendly and maybe you'll get some people that way. Network. Stand mostly naked and hold a sign with your company name & value prop in someplace populated. You need eyes on your idea. Every time someone expresses interest, get their email address, verbally or through an email capture form on the website.


Refine your idea. Once you have a dozen emails, talk to them and find out what their problems are as they relate to your idea. Does your idea solve them? If not, will you pivot? Will & how much will people pay for you to solve their problem? This feedback will refine the conversations you have will new people. Over time, the best value prop will emerge.


Or, you could pay someone to do most of this.