What is founder-market fit? When you know your market and you're passionate about it, you can make a lot of traction quickly by leveraging your network.

Ryan Hatch
Head of Product Strategy & Innovation
Andrew Verboncouer
Partner & CEO

The final thing we want to talk about is this concept of founder market fit. You've probably heard of "problem market fit." But founder-market-fit is essential because when you know your market, and you're passionate about it, you learn how you can make a lot of traction quickly.

And a good test, if you have founder-market-fit or not, is understanding and taking a look at your network and evaluating, do I have access to early customers? Do I have people I can learn from and have conversations with? And can I source those interviews quickly? So when you're in discovery mode early on in your journey, does your network have the people you need to talk to? Can you see some of your network being early customers? And in some cases, that's enough for you to start getting that first customer. Maybe even get to 10 customers using your network alone. And beyond that is where you stand on the shoulders of your network to build case studies, build business cases and ramp up your sales efforts from there.

It's also important to note that when you know your market well, and you've lived in it, you're likely very passionate about it - you've spent a good chunk of your life experiencing the pains that are there. So you can have excellent conversations with people outside of your network - understanding that the knowledge that you have, what we might call an SME or a "subject matter expert," will help you and your company create more content. That's going to help your company connect with more people and ultimately help you build a more valuable business in the long run.

So we're asking you to check yourself on the founder market fit part and use that test by looking at your network and asking, do I have people that I can talk to about this, and gather some information and potentially, pitch to become early customers?

As we wrap up here, you know, it's important to note that startups are a long road. There are always going to be problems to overcome, there's always going to be friction. Having a passion for it is going to keep you going - understanding the "why" and having a vision for the impact you want to make in the market you're serving or the people you're serving. That is going to keep you going when the market tells you no or when you hear no from customers, or you hear no from investors.
Being passionate about what you're doing is going to help pull you through that.