This is an essay to myself, a guidance for thinking about company building and solving problems.

I used to think “build something people want” was mainly about “finding the something to build.” I figured the challenge would be building out an epic product with all the bells and whistles that people would just love. I thought product building was about really just building products.

But now…I think the “build something people want mantra” really emphasizes figuring out what people want. AND as an addendum, finding the unique wedge or go to market strategy that allows you to test if people want your product.

I think that is the key – the hinge – the wedge.

The go to market strategy allows you to get to product market fit. Better yet, the go to market strategy allows you to create a product market fit.

“Go to market,” even more specifically clarified (I think), does not mean go to a giant TAM. It means going to the right problem area that has a hair on fire problem. And the solution is not just addressing that problem or disrupting the space.

I think…the solution is finding a clever wedge…a clever niche in the industry to solidify as your point of stickiness.

This nuance is not about idea generation. It is about finding the sticky point that you can execute upon. That is the hardest most difficult thing I think about getting started. Falling in love with this space is the first part. And then, from there, the goal is to figure out the clever means of getting product in front of the right people.

I have always admired brilliant products. I have always under-valued brilliant product go-to-market strategies.

I think there is a lot to learn from how a team attacks an industry. Do you consult for them (a la Palantir)? Do you buy out a player in the space? Do you recreate them?

How do you deal with incumbency?

These are critical questions.

Also published on Medium.