My mistakes with product-founder fit
I received Matt Medeiros’ second email for Business 5000 this morning and the topic was Product-Founder Fit, and it inspired me. So thanks, Matt.
He talks about “new ideas fever” that we all get. In my own fever, I’ve made the misstep of chasing ideas too many times to count.
Mistakes and missteps
Here are some of the mistakes and missteps I’ve made that came to mind reading Matt’s email:
- Looking at the opportunity first and solely. My biggest misstep example was chasing eCommerce. I saw a big huge opportunity and yes, dollar signs first. I didn’t properly look at who we were currently serving and what adjacent product areas we could serve our customers much better. So we came in late, burned years of time and talent and tons of money chasing a misguided opportunity.
- Starting with the hammer and not the nail. Far too often I think of a great solution — my awesome hammer — and seek out the nail to pound with it. I know that starting with the nail — the problem, the people — is the absolute key and appropriate starting place. I’ve spent the last year talking and listening to people, trying to identify themes, struggles, problems and then find an appropriate hammer to help.
- Do I really even care about it? Like Matt’s example, he didn’t care about serving lawyers. And I don’t think it has to be a burning passion. But a deep curiosity and interest are extremely handy. Then do an honest assessment and ask yourself: Is this something I’d commit a year or even 5 years of my life to? That’s what I did with iThemes in 2008. I knew I had to make a 5-year commitment at first to focus on it fully. Then last year when I left, I started my next chapter with some key areas I was intensely curious about and interested in. By the end of 2019, I had some much-needed clarity about what was next. In fact, one of them is mental health and I’m writing this from a retreat in Boulder where I’ve spent an incredible time with a group of therapists. All because of my interest —and it’s also an enduring mission in my life.
How Post Status fits
By the way, how did the opportunity at Post Status stand the Product-Partner Fit assessment?
When Brian pinged me about becoming a partner at Post Status late last year, it was an instant, “hell yes!” Here are some of the reasons it was the right and enduring fit for me:
- I love the people in our Club. You are some of my dearest friends in life. You are my people. I want to support and serve you. Now I get to stay even better connected to you.
- I care deeply about the problems, issues, the struggles, the ups and downs of our members. They are my own.
- I love the business model and work. Community and publishing are in my blood, my experience, my ongoing interest and yes, I’ll say it, my passion. I can contribute my time and talents directly. This is energizing to me.
- We won’t get rich, and that’s not the point. But it needs to be profitable for us. Profitable enough to exchange our finite time and gifts in the pursuit. I’m fully confident it will.
- I had actually pinged Brian about his Hired project right before he was going to ping me about partnering with him because I just wanted to contribute in a meaningful way and I saw an opportunity to do so. (I can’t wait to share what we’re doing with that very soon!)
Because of all of those reasons and probably 100 more, this is a great fit for me.
And I’ve got to say several weeks into it: it doesn’t feel like work, at all.
It feels like flow. It feels like purpose. It feels like my tribe.
Thank you for that, Brian, the Post Status team and Club. I needed it.