I imagine myself holding a basketball while in a space suit orbiting the earth. I’m floating in some particular direction. Off to the right is the hoop, traveling in a completely different direction. Our paths are orbital and curved. The good news is that our paths will get near each other soon.
So I start to prepare. I design my shot in terms of speed and trajectory. I wait for just the right moment and then throw the ball at where the hoop will be. The ball floats in the right direction. Then in the middle of the shot, several competitors start flailing at my ball and throwing balls of their own. All of the sudden, it’s hectic, any number of factors could make the shot miss.
Most companies and most products miss. Of course they miss! It’s a hard damn shot! And of course, a company is expected to make more shots, over and over.
Product-Market fit is like this. There are dozens of factors including timing, features, experience, scalability, performance, competition, legal & compliance issues, economic factors and more. You have to shoot and nearly perfect shot.
On the one hand, it’s tremendously stressful. On the other hand, when you hear the sound of ball swishing through the hoop, there is bliss. To me, it’s worth the stress to have a chance of making it. No guts, no glory.
Speaking of which, here is Steph Curry sinking a ridiculous 35 foot shot to win the game in overtime.