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How not to SaaS – lessons from 2 years of building 3k MRR SaaS (twitter.com/hammadh4)
36 points by h99 on Nov 2, 2020 | hide | past | favorite | 7 comments

Everyone talks about product-market fit, but not many people talk about product-channel fit [1]. I've been doing plenty of research on acquisition channels [2] and (besides product-market fit) they're the most important thing that will make or break your product. The reason is pretty simple:

If you think about a) Your product b) Your market c) Your acquisition channels, the most flexible thing is a). You can shape your product in 100s of different ways. You can't, however, change how SEO works, or change the mindset of your market (there are hundreds of founders who tried to "educate" their market and failed, with rare exceptions).

This is why many people recommend to focus on your market and your acquisition channels FIRST, and then on your product. Because your product is the thing you can change/have the most influence on, and "shape" it depending on the factors you don't have much control over.

[1] https://brianbalfour.com/essays/product-channel-fit-for-grow...

[2] https://firstpayingusers.com/

interesting indeed.

It's also a question of how to model your approach for different channels.

There are devs on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, they all buy education, but not in all formats.

I've seen pretty successful people/products who were REALLY good at modeling their product to a particular channel. For example, people making a simple video as a teaser, posting it on a FB group and getting 800+ "I'm in" comments. Or someone making use of current news to get an edge on a paid ad channel like AdWords so they get higher CTR and lower CPC.

Whenever I see posts of the type product-market-fit, I wonder why bother with this phase? There are so many well funded companies that have already found the product market fit .. why not innovate or differentiate in that space ? MySpace found the product market fit ... Facebook perfected it. As a fast follower, you don't have to spend cycles on PMF which frees up resources to either reduce your price or improve customer service. Thoughts?

What you said sounds correct however it’s not really as black and white as it may seem. Figuring out pmf means figuring out what make your product unique relative to your competitors which makes it a bit hard if not downright impossible to skip this step.

> Facebook perfected it.

Wow, that's quite a statement. Do you really, honestly believe that Facebook is a perfect social media service? I mean, Google Plus was far superior to FB but still had room for improvement.

Most of these lessons are 100% applicable to non-SaaS businesses too. I (partially) disagree with #7, though. A lot of times, the product idea comes to you before you have a clear definition of the customer. As long as you take the time to consider who would actually pay for the product, and define your requirements in terms of their needs, you've done the right thing.

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