Paul Buchheit on Product/Market Fit

Here’s an interesting response to the great Marc Andreessen post on Product/Market Fit (which I can’t believe I haven’t linked to from here before now!)

“What’s the right attitude? Humility. It doesn’t matter how smart and successful and qualified you are, you simply don’t know what you’re doing. The good news is that nobody else does either, though some are foolish enough to think that they do (and that’s why you can beat them).

What is the humble approach to product design? Pay attention. Notice which things are working and which aren’t. Experiment and iterate. Question your assumptions. Remember that you are wrong about a lot of things. Watch for the signals. Lose your technical and design snobbery. Whatever works, works.”
The most important thing to understand about new products

I like the idea of humble product design.

Paul used to work for Google and was the guy who wrote Gmail.

His own story is a goodie:

“I wrote the first version of Gmail in one day. It was not very impressive. All I did was stuff my own email into the Google Groups (Usenet) indexing engine. I sent it out to a few people for feedback, and they said that it was somewhat useful, but it would be better if it searched over their email instead of mine. That was version two. After I released that people started wanting the ability to respond to email as well. That was version three. That process went on for a couple of years inside of Google before we released to the world.”

2 thoughts on “Paul Buchheit on Product/Market Fit”

  1. Both the Marc Andreessen and Paul Buchheit posts are well worth reading – thanks for the links.

    I like the humilty angle, too. Partly because it’s nice to think of basic business skills as also being basic character skills.

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