Product Market Fit (PMF)
It doesn't matter if you do everything else wrong, if you have PMF, you will still succeed. The most notorious example of this is Twitter
"Twitter is such as mess — it's as if they drove a clown car into a gold mine and fell in"
Mark Zuckerberg (after trying to buy Twitter)
Conversely, you can do everything right but if you don't have PMF, it doesn't matter (eg. Google Wave).
Product market fit is notoriously hard to nail down. The two most common ways I've seen it defined:
- Qualitatively, it feels like chasing a boulder downhill (after PMF) versus pushing a boulder uphill (before PMF). Both tasks require persistence and followthrough but will feel radically different
- Quantitatively, having PMF means that you have a successful channel of converting users into paying customers so that throwing more money at the channel will reliably and repeatedly result in more revenue.