Founder-product fit

In startup land, there's a lot of talk about product-market fit. There's this idea that you should spend all your time finding a good product-market fit (i.e. something people LOVE and would be really sad if it went away, think Netflix) before doing anything else. It's the glue behind everything.

One thing less talked about is founder-product fit (info here and here). It's the idea that as a founder you should be working on something that literally keeps you up at night. Something you would work on even if there was very little chance it would make you money in the long run. I believe founder-product fit is the true glue behind everything.

Because it's really hard to do anything hard within truly being into it. Even your body (not just your mind) has to believe in the idea you're working on. Otherwise, you'll never make it through the difficult times. 

I tweeted this little rant yesterday after reading this story about all the hype digital-first CPG brands are getting. It's a really hot space. Money and MBAs are flowing into it. They all want to be the next Warby Parker.

I do believe it's crazy to work on something that has no meaning for you. I didn't think about it when I tweeted this but this reflexion comes from first-hand experience.

I had an awful experience of working for a startup founder who was 'in to make a quick buck'. He saw a growing space and a business opportunity. He thought it was really cool to do a certain type of business model. He thought it would make him rich and successful like the case studies he was reading on Business Insider.

I ended up losing lots of money, lots of time and it even cost me an important relationship. It was a bitter experience and I learned a ton from it. It was only a few years later that I realized that all of this would have been different if the founder truly believed in the mission of its company (and cared less about making a quick buck or fame).

Founder-product fit is simply a fancy expression to say do the stuff that truly matters to you / don't waste anyone's time.