10The Terminal Experiment

Validate hypotheses with Lean Experiments so that you can Pivot, Patch, or Persevere on your way to Business/Market Fit.


We had been working for more than half a year and our team had still not achieved Product/Market Fit. It made me feel anxious. How much longer would it take until we had a viable business? Why doesn’t our kid grow up faster?

As a founder, entrepreneur, or intrapreneur, to get to Product/Market Fit, and then Business/Market Fit, you turn your vision of a business into hypotheses for each piece of your Business Quilt and then you start experimenting and validating. This exploration is your main focus in the Validation (4) and Stabilization (5) stages of the Business Lifecycle. Do you have the right audience? Do you have the right idea for a solution? Does the product offer the right benefits? Does the product relieve a Pain or add a Gain? Are people using it? Does the revenue model show signs that it’s working? It can take many iterations, and many interactions with potential customers, to get positive answers to those questions.

Founders often think that getting funded and hiring a team are their biggest challenges. They’re wrong. Almost everyone underestimates the time and effort it takes to validate their business model. Several sources indicate that the primary reason for failure of startups is a business model that doesn’t work. ...

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