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The Pappas Post Features Stroumboulis' Hilarious Selfie...BouliBrand Signs TV Licensing Deal with New Greek TV to...Greek America Foundation's Weekend in Toronto Honors Forty Under...Television Station, New Greek TV, Interviewed BouliBrand Founder...Greek America Foundation Honors Stroumboulis with Forty Under 40...Greek Ambassador Anghelopoulos Met With Stroumboulis to Discuss...Greek Ambassador Panagopoulos Met With Stroumboulis to Discuss...The Hellenic Association of Realtors Partnered With...Kathimerini Featured Stroumboulis for Spearheading International...Australia's OPA! Magazine Featured Stroumboulis Commentary on...The Hellenic Initiative's "OneGreece.org" Video...ETHNOS Newspaper Featured Stroumboulis for His Global Initiative...Reuters Featured Acquisition of High-Tech Start-Up Solais...NewsBeast.gr Featured Stroumboulis' New TV Show Targeting...Real News Featured Stroumboulis' Widely Popular Real Estate TV...GreekReporter.com Featured Stroumboulis' New Initiative to Help...Niagara Region Newspaper Featured Stroumboulis on Front Page for...GreekReporter.com Featured Stroumboulis' New TV Show Geared...Greek News Portal, Protagon.gr, Comments on Facts Surrounding...Australia's Neos Kosmos Misrepresented Stroumboulis' New TV Show...GreekReporter.com Featured Stroumboulis' Official Response to...Star TV's Morning Talk Show, FM Live, Featured Stroumboulis and...European Edition of the Wall Street Journal Featured...German Edition of the Wall Street Journal Featured Stroumboulis...Barron's Financial Magazine Featured Stroumboulis' Real Estate...Espresso Featured Stroumboulis' New TV Show in a Misrepresented...The Wall Street Journal Featured Stroumboulis and His New...Antenna Television Network Launches New TV Series 'Hellenic Home...OPA! Magazine Featured Stroumboulis for Launching the Global...Food & Leisure Guide Featured Stroumboulis for Promoting Greece...Dimokratia Newspaper Featured Stroumboulis for the Production of...Brazilian News Portal, G1, Featured Stroumboulis in Article on...National Herald Newspaper Featured Stroumboulis for Property...Spanish Media Portal, El Mundo, Interviewed Stroumboulis for...Elefteros Typos Newspaper Featured Georgios Stroumboulis in...NewsBeast.gr Highlights Greek-Canadian Helping to Sell Euro 5...Antenna TV Station Featured Greek Property Exchange During...Athens Municipal Radio 9.84 FM Features Interview with Founder...Kerdos Newspaper Featured Stroumboulis' New Greek Real Estate TV...Channel 9 Featured Interview with Stroumboulis on Greece's...TA NEA Newspaper Featured Georgios Stroumboulis' Efforts to Help...Ambassador Peck of Canada Honors Georgios Stroumboulis at the...Electrical Distributor Magazine Featured Comments Regarding the...Athens News Newspaper Featured Article on Stroumboulis' New Real...Voria Newspaper Featured Article on Greek Property Exchange and...GreekReporter.com Featured Article on New Greek Real Estate TV...India Today Interviewed Stroumboulis for Article - Between the...Electrical Distributor Magazine Featured Article on the LED...Third National Marketing Excellence Award Received for Best...Imerisia Newspaper Featured Stroumboulis in Article on Greek...Antenna TV Station Featured Greek Property Exchange During...Greek Property Exchange Signs TV Advertising Deal with Leading...Australia's Neos Kosmos Newspaper Featured Interview...America's Leading Greek Radio Station, Radio Neo, Interviews...Imerisia Newspaper Featured Interview on Using the Internet to...Elefterotypia Newspaper Highlighted Efforts of Real Estate...Kerdos Newspaper Featured Article on Importance of the Internet...Isotimia Newspaper Interviewed Stroumboulis to Highlight...Bulgaria's GR Reporter Featured Interview with Stroumboulis...Axia Newspaper Showcased Stroumboulis' Efforts From Abroad to...Stroumboulis Interviewed on National TV During the Property 2011...Athens News Newspaper Featured Stroumboulis in Article on...Kerdos Newspaper Highlights Greek Property Exchange in Real...Agent of the Year Award Given at the Annual Real Estate Industry...GreekReporter.com Featured Exclusive Interview with StroumboulisLEDs Magazine Featured Manufacturing Company and its Team of...Second National Marketing Excellence Award for Best Integrated...First National Marketing Excellence Award for Best New Industry...

Forget Product-Market Fit. Find Your Market, Then Build Your Product.

Product-market fit is the holy grail of any nascent startup. When developers design without it, they are often left in pre-launch coding purgatory, and when investors push for rampant growth without it, startups often fail. In a recent piece for FirstRound, Superhuman founder Rahul Vohra he notes that getting product-market fit right requires you to dig deep as a founder by surveying your clients on their user experience. When a 40 percent threshold of satisfied users is reached, those users' feedback should be further segmented and analyzed into the most important SaaS features to build out.

While I agree with Vohra that client feedback is invaluable, I would argue that the idea of product-market fit needs to be flipped on its head entirely. The best way to not waste years incubating or waste money growing a business with no market is to think in the reverse -- find your market, then build your product.

The reverse -- "market-product fit" -- may sound counterintuitive, but its the most efficient and cost-effective way to build a successful startup. In the case of Superhuman, Vohra admits that he had to keep tweaking his product based on user data until his company began to build momentum with a loyal customer base. However, I would argue that if you're measuring product-market fit after you built a product, it's already too late -- in fact, it's your only option to collect customer data, pivot and hope that you find your customer. In other words, that approach forces you to iterate until you reach the ethereal magic moment in the market.

You can not only increase but guarantee sales if you nail your market before you build out your product. Don't just create a feedback loop between your UX team and your small pool of customers when you are in the development stage. You need to flip the concept of product-market and think of it as a journey from Point A to Point B, with Point A being the most painful point for your user and Point B as the ideal solution. But, how do you save yourself time, energy and money to get there? You have to work backwards from your ideal solution in order to ensure that you are addressing a painful problem in the market. Point A is an urgent need that people are willing to pay money to fix. Point A can even be so painful that the customer is numbed to it. But, by working backwards from ideal solutions, you won't need to try a million ways to get from there to your product.

Tony Xu, the founder of DoorDash, understood this approach when he founded his company, which has delivered over 100 million orders to date. Xu began consulting restaurants to help them grow their customer base but quickly realized that many restaurant owners did not have the manpower or money to manage a delivery service in addition to their in-house operations. He dug deeper into the problem and found that not only were his clients not delivering to hypothetical customers -- they were turning down business to existing ones solely because they lacked the ability to deliver. The pain point here was specific and quantifiable and Xu got to work to create an optimized solution that would work for any business with a physical product.

You might be asking, how do I know the painful problems before I build when I don't even have a customer base? The answer is to get people to pay you to fix the problem before you build. For example, if you have credibility in a particular market, start consulting businesses in that specific market who need your expertise. Soon, you will see that many of these clients share painful problems that they may or may not realize (or want to openly admit) but that you can address for them. Once you've worked with several of them, you can organize the pain points into a rubric for developing your product. Then, when you hire your UX team, you'll have a clear vision as to what and for whom you're creating the product. To return to the DoorDash example, Xu built the technology after he validated the demand for it with his existing customer base.

To think of it another way, if you're getting paid for your expertise up front, you're providing clear value to your market. Besides consulting, you can also get paid to speak, teach, coach, train people, etc. People will also pay for valuable information delivered in many different formats -- membership sites, including Facebook or Slack groups that people pay to join. No matter how you deliver services to your customer, you must focus on a specific market and on specific and painful problems that you can solve.

While you fix problems manually for customers, focus on their success, and on learning everything you will need to know to develop the automated technology that will help you scale big. Your success with this initial group of customers will help you reach your next wave of customers, and so forth. 

BouliBrand is a boutique marketing + entrepreneurship + communications + branding movement focused on creating vibrant, purposeful and revenue-generating media experiences on a partner-by-partner basis. With strategic partnerships in New York, Toronto, Athens, Los Angeles, New Delhi and Shanghai, we work directly with savvy, driven and optimistic clients wanting to produce fresh platforms of communication and target nouveau markets internationally with their startup businesses and services. BouliBrand is propelled by Georgios (George) Stroumboulis (Γιώργος Στρουμπούλης) - an internationally seasoned marketing professional with tangible business experiences across multiple industries and diverse cultures. To learn more about BouliBrand, Georgios and the stimulating team spearheading the BouliBrand movement forward, get in contact at www.BouliBrand.com, www.Facebook.com/BouliBrand, www.Twitter.com/Stroumboulis (@stroumboulis), www.Instagram.com/Stroumboulis (@stroumboulis), www.LinkedIn.com/in/Stroumboulis, www.YouTube.com/Stroumboulis or www.Pinterest.com/BouliBrand. BouliBrand shares progressive industry information related to the marketing, branding, entrepreneurship, investment, networking, financing, start-up, public relations, internet, web, creative and business movement. We gather select articles, blogs, news, posts, press releases, announcements, interviews, commentary, videos, clips and anything we feel might be worth reviewing for our visitors, followers, clients and partners.

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