Who is more likely to get their startup to product-market fit:
technical founders or business-side founders?
Greg R. asked me this question on a podcast interview this morning.
Here’s the simple answer: Both technical and business founders struggle with this, but in different ways.
Technical founders struggle with building in market and customer feedback before they start coding.
They often wait too late to start selling to customers and planning how to scale customer acquisition.
Business-side founders with experience in sales and marketing often don’t build and iterate software products fast enough to create a unique, high-value product.
Product-market fit is very hard to achieve. Most startups don’t make it.
Product-market fit = amazing to somebody.
Amazing enough for them to actually use, pay for, and keep using your software.
Amazing enough for your customers to tell their friends and spread your solution around their organizations.
Amazing solutions and startups can come from technical founders who also deeply understand the business side of sales, marketing, and customer success.
Like Eric Yuan of Zoom.
Amazing startups come from business-side founders who also deeply understand product, design, and new technology.
Like Steve Jobs at Apple.
Solo founders have to be great at one side and very good at the other when they start.
Sometimes this is done with co-founders who work with a complementary partner to make the “big brain” with both technical and business superpowers.