What comes first: Product or revenue?

It is the startup equivalent of the chicken/egg question

Well, this picture of eggs with googly eyes was too creepy to not share with everyone. (image)

THIS IS NOT REALLY A NEW STORY

This is something we all see with entrepreneurs all around us. They start with the thought of investing months and thousands of dollars into building a product, and then a couple of months turn into a couple of quarters, and by the time they are ready with the product, they have already started running out of steam. I recently met a couple of startup founders who had just started operations after having built a product, had started seeing traction as well, but now they were running on fumes. They had started the process of raising some external capital, and when I asked them about the runway they had, I was surprised on hearing “one month”. One frigging month!! They had spent so much time in getting the product ready that once it was, and they went operational, they had no fuel left in the tank. One month is way too low a timeframe to close on a fundraising round, and that is when you have some decent traction. When you have just started witnessing traction, one month is next to impossible.

WHY DOES THIS HAPPEN?

The same old story. You don’t want to roll out a product that isn’t ‘ready’ yet.

Btw, just to remove any confusion, let me clarify that I am talking about a tech product here.

WHY? WHY SHOULD WE OPERATE IN THIS FASHION?

Product-market fit. That’s why.

The second you introduce revenue into your product-market fit equation, that is where the whole notion of chicken and egg gets into the picture.

Your go-to-market strategy should always be dictated by what your product is, and your product roadmap would always be defined by what your go-to-market results are looking like. It is a two-way feedback. One constant feedback loop.

WHAT ABOUT THE INDUSTRY SEGMENT? SHOULD THAT NOT DICTATE THE PRODUCT MARKET FIT?

Well. Yes and No.

WE ARE A PRODUCT COMPANY, NOT A SERVICES COMPANY

I used to think that way too. I was wrong. So would you be, if you think that way.

That’s it for today, see you tomorrow….hopefully!

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Abhishek Anand

Helping businesses grow 10x faster, and scale efficiently. Top Writer — Quora, Medium. Drop in a line if you’d like help with yours. mail@abyshake.com