In this article, you will learn about four frameworks you need to align to grow to a $100M+ companyIrina Ionova
If you are good at business theory you would begin to build a company with a great product. But this process will lead you to Product Death Cycle.
Just think, there are plenty of ideal products that never reach $100M+. Building a great product is just a piece of the puzzle.
Many experts also say that product-market fit is the only thing that you need and they are wrong. Yes, many startups fail due to lack of this fit but it is just a piece of the puzzle too.
Maybe you would think that your company needs growth hacking. While the term was created with good intentions, it has morphed into a concept around hacktics that they are short-lived and never sustainable.are hacktic — that there is a tip, trick, secret, or tool that is going to unlock growth in your business. The problem with hacktics are that they are short-lived and never sustainable.
So, how to get great success and fast growth in business?
Brian Balfour, founder of Reforge, previously VP Growth at HubSpot, considers that companies can reach $100M+ if they have these features:
Here are some rules of this puzzle:
So, in this post, we share knowledge about each fit and how they work together based on Brian Balfour’s frameworks.
Market Product fit
Brian Balfour uses the term “Market Product Fit” instead of usual “Product Market Fit”. He explains that you should find out a problem and then build a solution.
Based on HubSpot case, Brian Balfour recommends companies starting with defining market hypothesis using Category, Who, Problems, Motivations:
After problem and market definition you should think about the product: define product hypothesis using Core Value Prop, Hook, Time To Value, Stickiness:
Based on these hypotheses a new product has appeared in HubSpot. The product was extremely simple. It consisted of a Chrome extension that, with a click of a checkbox, let you track your emails and get instant notifications on who opened and clicked on your emails.
And it is not the end. Brian Balfour tells that search for Market Product Fit happens over many cycles of iteration. Companies begin with the problem (market), build a solution (product) and then companies should look at who gets value from the product and redefine the market and product again.
Cyclical search for Market Product Fit helps you to discover new target markets. Ultimately, you will have to do it because the market doesn’t sit still.
Ok, you did this cycle many times and redefined your product, so how do you know if you have Market Product Fit?
Brian Balfour says here that you don’t need to look at qualitative or quantitative measurements separately. You should combine qualitative and quantitative measurements with your own intuition.
Product Channel Fit
One of the components of your company success is Product Channel Fit. And here as usual Brian Balfour destroys business myths.
The product should be created for the channel
That’s like that because you don’t create rules for the channel. You don’t command Facebook what content users should see, you don’t tell Google what links to put in the results of the search, etc. You cannot change the channel but you can change the product to promote it successfully through this channel.
Those are some general elements of products that fit different categories of channels:
Virality. For virality to be a high ceiling channel, a product at a minimum needs
Paid Marketing. To have Product Channel fit with paid marketing:
UGC SEO. To have Product Channel fit with UGC SEO:
According to Brian Balfour, product promotion on a few different channels is bad for your business. A company that has Product Channel fit gets 70%+ of their growth from one channel. To choose the main channel Brian Balfour recommends trying 1 or 2 channels at the same time.
Of course, you can reach the Product Channel fit for all channels. There are such companies, but they are rare. LinkedIn is an example of a company that achieved Product Channel fit with multiple channels.
You should also consider that some old channels will die and new ones will appear. Here, many startups make a mistake: they copy their product from other channels to a new channel without product channel fit.
You can learn more about product channel fit here.
Channel Model Fit
Here is the next statement:
Channels are determined by model.
What is the model? There are two elements of the model:
To help you understand why channels are determined with the model, Brian Balfour draws a line, Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) spectrum. CAC is the cost of clients attraction. On the left side, there are companies with low ARPU, here cheap channels are available (virality, SEO, paid marketing). And on the right side, there are companies with high ARPU, where expensive channels are available (content marketing, inbound/inside sales, enterprises sales).
You can learn more about company growth here: