Problem/Solution Fit vs Product/Market Fit

Aug 11, 2020



Problem/Solution Fit vs Product/Market Fit

During the lockdown period, I have talked to 76 founders of tech and tech-enabled startups, and when the discussion came around the problem/solution fit the majority of them shifted it to product/market fit. After noticing it more and more I decided to share my own understanding of these processes and also to highlight how vital it is to work on the product/solution fit before building an MVP.

Problem/Solution Fit

This is a test heading

Problem/solution fit is the very beginning stage of a startup when founders are using design thinking to shape their business idea and validate it with their users.

For tech and tech-enabled startups there are several steps that are usually completed at this stage:

  1. Problem research – it includes customer segments, pain points for each customer segment and value proposition;
  2. Articulating the solution – that includes the product channels, the marketing channels, and the revenue streams;
  3. Validating solution hypothesis with potential users – user research
  4. PoC development – it can vary from only high-level wireframes to some outcome of the “no code required” platforms.
  5. User testing
  6. Clickable prototype using available prototyping tools like InVision or a more advanced version of the “no code required” platforms mentioned above.

At this stage, it is mandatory to align your vision with the market needs and a scalable business model.

Out team at Innovify supports founders to find problem/solution fit throw a design thinking workshop where we get a senior UX/UI, a senior software architecture, a business analyst and a product owner to join forces with the founding team to work on the lean canvas and produce high-level wireframes, a software architecture proposal, and a detailed feature list.

Only when gut feelings and data collected from users firmly validate the problem/solution fit, founders can start building the MVP.

Product/Market Fit

At this stage several processes happen simultaneously:

  1. Product/Language Fit
  2. Product/Channel Fit
  3. Funnel Optimisation Fit

The journey from problem/solution fit to product/market fit is not an easy one. The founders have to wear different hats at the same time but that’s the beauty of the startup world.

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Prakash Pilley, Client Services Director
Prakash Pilley

Client Services Director