I had the pleasure of attending SAAS North, an amazing conference put on by the good people at L-SPARK here in Ottawa. As a member of L-SPARK’s Winter 2017 cohort, it was good to catch up with the team, exchange startup war stories with entrepreneurs and meet the founders from the current cohort.

But that’s not what you’re here for… let’s get into the good stuff!

There were a few sessions at the conference that really stood out to me, and only upon reflection did they really start to weave together into what I believe might be a great way to rapidly assess and achieve product-market fit.

I’m essentially weaving together:

  • David Skok’s session on WOW moments, where he emphasized the need to reduce procedural friction in your product’s value generation process; and
  • Lincoln Murphy’s session on Customer Success, where he emphasized the need to accurately define your customer’s Desired Outcome (how they define value) and build the Appropriate Experience to ensure it is achieved; and
  • Oli Gardner’s session, where he laid out a micro-metric driven approach, which enables you to capture the data that proves (or disproves) that your customers are taking your intended path to value; and
  • Alan Willie’s comment in a Q&A where he said something to the effect of “ask your customers which metric they’re using to assign value to your product.”

Here’s what this Product-Market Fit and assessment tapestry looks like:

  1. Ask your customers which metric(s) they’re going to use to assign value to your product. The answer to this question is reflective of their DESIRED OUTCOME and to paraphrase David Skok, it is their WOW MOMENT “DRIVER.”
  2. Painstakingly map your product’s value generation process from a customer’s initial interaction through to them reaching their DESIRED OUTCOME.
  3. For each stage in the process, identify opportunities for MINI WOW MOMENTS which emphasize and indicate to the user that they’re on the right path and the DESIRED OUTCOME is achievable and within reach. Assign and track a MICRO METRIC for each MINI WOW MOMENT.
  4. Ruthlessly track these MICRO METRICS to refine each step in the process until the WOW MOMENT (people are excited enough to buy) happens predictably. This should be indicative that customers are having an APPROPRIATE EXPERIENCE which achieves their DESIRED OUTCOME.

My gut feeling says that achieving product/market fit is likely a function of your ability to find the value generation process that maximizes the number of WOWs over time, especially during the initial onboarding process. While this is just a starting point, there is certainly much more nuance to how this is implemented in practice.

Let’s just say this that SAAS North was quite an eye-opening experience for me and at Advolv we have A LOT to take home for action!

I’ll be testing this shortly and will let you know how it’s going in a follow-up! Stay tuned!