“Product market fit” is a silly term for what it wants to describe

You might have never heard of an "idle asset" before. But you probably have a good idea of what it means. Even your grandmas first guess of what an “idle asset” is, is likely to be correct.

This cannot be said of “product market fit”.
Ask 10 people, grandmas or even Y-Combinator applicants, and the answers will be all over the place.

Michael Seibel chips in

"You have reached product market fit when you are overwhelmed with usage—usually to the point where you can’t even make major changes to your product because you are swamped just keeping it up and running."[1]

Another YC partner said that demand is growing soooo fast, that you just want to die.

"If you don't want to die, you don't have product market fit".

So the people who popularized the term, say it's synonymous to extreme growth or incredible demand. Then why not call it that? Anyone and their grandma will understand such terms right away.


Google basically owns the search market. They absolutely dominate it. Perhaps, "product market fit" is just a euphemism to avoid using the term dominant. Hmm.

So what does product market fit really mean?
It simply means that your product and its market have found each other, and by extension, that often means seeing serious growth. Though sometimes, the product is catered towards a niche audience, in which case it might not become the next Google, while still enjoying product market fit.

Naval's got something to say too

Is that really so Naval? 🧐
By that definition, many of the sideprojects I built, that went absolutely nowhere, all had product market fit. Yay.

In reality, many nice sounding quotes require the stretching of a definition in order to make sense.
Example: "Real wealth is having lots of free time".

It sounds great, right? But, can you transfer this "real wealth" to your cousin from Bangladesh who's working 14 hours a day? I like Naval, though, I think that one was a miss. But I digress..

OK, so now what?
When possible, use simple words. YC is big on avoiding buzzwords, yet they throw around product market fit left and right, leaving many people confused. Just say extreme growth, or any alternative that is understood quickly.

This blog post was written by @aminozuur. Thanks for reading, and keep learning new words.

1: Michael Seibel's blog

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