Friday, October 14, 2022

Fitness landscapes, COVID, and markets [an unfinished post]

[Note: this is an unfinished, very rough blog post i last updated on 6-16-20. Some of the ideas still resonate with me, maybe i'll properly update/finish it in the future 🤷] 

"I'll assert that market is the most important factor in a startup's success or failure. Why? In a great market -- a market with lots of real potential customers -- the market pulls product out of the startup."

Marc Andreesen, The Only Thing That Matters

The COVID pandemic is an explicit - in both senses of the word - exemplification of Marc Andreesen's statement, "market is the most important factor in a startup's success or failure."

The fitness landscape of the startup ecosystem has been completely re-arranged since the COVID pandemic started. 

The pandemic has stripped away all pretenses of a need for particular products right now, and is pulling very specific product out of the startup ecosystem right now to solve acute pains. 

Went from multi-point fitness landscape to effectively single-point.

TechCrunch recently posted and article referencing "Pandemic Market Fit" (Week in Review: Facebook hardware finds pandemic market fit).

It has created market conditions that are pushing some startups up & right, and is leaving most (even those that build painkiller products in the pre-COVID world!) firing/cutting/slashing their way to life-support.

For the foreseeable future, the pandemic makes answers to "why now?" more narrow and critical.

Lastly, it perhaps goes without saying that there is no way that "fit-for-Covid" startups are succeeding only because of market. Layering on Fred Wilson's point in Market, Team, Product, "[write] checks only when you find talented teams working in large markets who have built excellent products."

If you've ever doubted that market matters most, nows the time to pay attention.

Notarize doing well -