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Introducing “Protocol-Market Fit”

A successful protocol fosters broad adoption across various industries.

A short definition of Product-Market Fit

Anybody who plans to invest time or money into a new product or protocol is indeed well-advised to ask about its resonance on the market. After all, a lack of market is the number one company-killer, as Andy Rachleff’s Law of Startup Success states:

  • A good NPS (Net Promoter Score)
  • The 40% rule: 40% of customers would be very disappointed if the product got taken away from them
  • Rising product engagement
  • Low churn rates

Why Product-Market Fit doesn’t apply to Protocols

At KILT we develop a protocol which, strictly speaking, could be categorised as a product because it is something that we produce. People asking us about our Product-Market Fit seem to perceive our technical solution in the same way. We noticed that internet protocols are expected to pass the Product-Market Fit filter in order to be considered a reasonable choice for usage, investment, or promotion. Yet, we argue that successful protocols are not meant for narrow usage in a specific market.

The new concept of “Protocol-Market Fit”

Since we equally recognise the approaches of Andy Rachleff, Marc Andreessen and Sir Tim Berners-Lee, we at KILT propose an adjustment of the Product-Market Fit definition according to the requirements that an intendedly industry-agnostic technology demands.

  • Increasing vertical demand: an increase in the amount of inbound interest from various enterprises of totally independent markets who want to utilise the protocol
  • Increasing horizontal demand: a growing community of software integrators seeking to build on the protocol and sell their solutions to their customers
  • Simplicity: Feedback from the market signals that the protocol is simple enough for allowing any use case; restrictions won’t result from the protocol level.
  • Economic efficiency: monetary incentives which drive real businesses to build services and solutions on top of the protocol (cost savings, new business models)
The “simplicity” criterion



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KILT Protocol

KILT is a blockchain identity protocol for issuing self-sovereign, verifiable credentials. KILT is part of the Polkadot ecosystem.