Chapter 1 Achieving Product-Market Fit with the Lean Product Process

Product-market fit is a wonderful term because it captures the essence of what it means to build a great product. The concept nicely encapsulates all the factors that are critical to achieving product success. Product-market fit is one of the most important Lean Startup concepts, and this playbook will show you how to achieve it.

Given the number of people who have written about product-market fit, you can find a range of interpretations. Real-world examples are a great way to help explain such concepts—throughout this book, I walk through many examples of products that did or didn't achieve product-market fit. But let's start out by clarifying what product-market fit means.


As I mention in the introduction, Marc Andreessen coined the term product-market fit in a well-known blog post titled “The only thing that matters.” In that post he writes, “Product-market fit means being in a good market with a product that can satisfy that market.” My definition of product-market fit—which is consistent with his—is that you have built a product that creates significant customer value. This means that your product meets real customer needs and does so in a way that is better than the alternatives.

Some people interpret product-market fit much more broadly, going beyond the core definition to also include having a validated revenue model—that is, that you can successfully monetize your product. ...

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