Community - Product Fit
Building with the community first
The community is the market, they are the users of your product. This is so because a community is a group of users gathered around a shared interest. And here, this shared interest can be your product or service or brand.
This is more or less taking the concept of Market-Product Fit (which aimed to replace Product-Market Fit), and evolving it to match the behaviour of the market and the users or people in the market.
This works because the way people interact in the world today is happening more and more within communities, specifically online communities. People shop more on Instagram, learn on WhatsApp and Telegram, and meet on Twitter and Discord. These are all online communities.
So to market one’s product or service, one needs to connect with their user(s). To build this connection, they need to establish a community. Therefore, the market becomes a community.
But why Market-Product Fit or rather, Community-Market Fit?
Because the product you are building is built for the users in your community, it is their needs you are satisfying. It is these users that are hiring your product for a job they need to be done. So how can you build a product for users without first taking their needs into account?
Actually, you can build a product without the users. This makes growth harder as it is a product without the core needs of the users. The users like the great product you’ve built, but do not need it. The product is a “nice to have”, not a “painkiller”.
To build a painkilling product, you need to know the pain to kill. And to know the pain of your users that is worth killing, you need to connect with them and get their needs. This happens only in the community.
How do you find out the needs and pains of your community? I wrote a detailed step by step guide you can follow: How to define the needs and wants of your community, identify pain points and gain insights into opportunities.
The process there is generalised, so you can tweak it to match your specific community or product.
You don’t have a community that is gathered around the interest or theme you are building for? Then start one! And afterwards, connect with your users and learn about their needs. I have another guide to help you start your community if you need one.