Richard Reis
Jul 9 · 2 min read
By Richard Reis

Recently, I started building an app, Gurgeh. Every week I learn something new (this is a common feeling among founders). So I decided to share my weekly lessons in the hopes that (1) I don’t forget them and (2) they help you on your own journey.

Every startup is different. But they’re all trying to achieve the same thing.

You read that right. The same thing.

“What is that thing?”

In the startup world, it is commonly referred to as product/ market fit (pmf, for short).

Remember two weeks ago when I wrote about iterating to perfection?

Well, pmf is what I (and every new startup) is iterating towards!

What is pmf?

I’ll let Marc Andreessen (whom I believe coined the phrase?) answer this one:

“Product/market fit means being in a good market with a product that can satisfy that market.” — Marc Andreessen

That’s it (simple, but not easy).

All you need is to (1) find a good market and (2) build a product that satisfies that market.

Unlock this achievement, and you’re ahead of most startups.

In fact, this is what every successful startup has done!

When do you know you achieved pmf?

Marc Andreessen said the life of any startup can be divided into two parts:

  1. Before product/market fit (BPMF).
  2. After product/ market fit (APMF).

Not sure where you are? Not a problem! Just answer these simple questions:

  • Are you having a hard time keeping up with the demand for your product?
  • Is money piling up in your account?
  • Are you hiring people as fast as you can?
  • Are reporters constantly calling you for interviews?
  • Are you eating for free at Buck’s?

If your answer to any of these questions was no, then you’re probably BPMF.

“Most of the companies that apply to YC don’t have product/ market fit. Most of the companies on Demo Day don’t have product/ market fit. Most companies die before product/ market fit.” — Michael Seibel

If so, the only thing you should obsess over is getting to pmf as fast as possible!

“How long will it take?”

It’s hard to say… Some startups took over a year (e.g. Airbnb) while others took less than a week (e.g. Facebook).

With Gurgeh, my goal is to get there a liiiittle faster than Airbnb (and given the initial reaction to the app, I think I’m close!).

And that’s it for today!

See you next week.

Be well.


Thanks for reading! 😊 If you enjoyed it, test how many times can you hit 👏 in 5 seconds. It’s great cardio for your fingers AND will help other people see the story.

The Mission

A network of business & tech podcasts designed to accelerate learning. Selected as “Best of 2018” by Apple.

Richard Reis

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"I write this not for the many, but for you; each of us is enough of an audience for the other." - Epicurus

The Mission

A network of business & tech podcasts designed to accelerate learning. Selected as “Best of 2018” by Apple.

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