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2 minute read / Apr 12, 2024 /

Extreme PMF : Sustaining Success with Scale

First Round’s Product Market Fit Framework adds dimension & texture to a concept we all use - Product Market Fit (PMF).

PMF isn’t attained permanently, but sustained over time as companies & complexities grow. As they scale, startups move up-market, expand into new geographies, add new product lines, & develop new customer acquisition motions.

These complexities are initially linear but eventually multiply. The idea is best illustrated by example.

Looker is one of the companies highlighted 🤗 & a portion of their journey is detailed here :

image (click to zoom)

In the early days of the company, the average price point was around $16k. The company sold to venture-backed technology companies in the US with a single motion.

During the Developing days, the business pushed up-market diversifying from startups into the mid-market & outside of technology into retail, healthcare, finance & other verticals ; Looker added a few new sales motions & increased the price point.

At the Strong stage, Looker sold into different geographies with teams in Europe & Asia. In addition, the embedded BI product became an important contributor to revenue & channel distribution (which had always been a strength) scaled.

At the Extreme, Looker’s brilliant team built two product lines, sold across 5 geographies & through three different motions, and 5 different verticals : 150 permutations of closing an account.

The combinatorics of PMF explode quickly. That’s why sustaining it with scale becomes harder & harder.

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