When a Product Works but a Business Doesn’t

David Cummings on Startups

An entrepreneur emailed me recently asking for advice about his Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) business. After several years of working on it, and signing up hundreds of customers paying a small amount of money, it became clear that it wasn’t a viable business. That is, by all accounts, product-market fit was reached but no matter how hard he tried, there wasn’t a repeatable customer acquisition process that could scale it to a multi-million dollar revenue business and make it worthwhile. This is one of the most challenging cases: years have been invested, customers clearly want it, and there’s no sustainable business in its current form.

Here are a few questions to ask when a product works but a business doesn’t:

  • Are there any adjacent markets or opportunities that can use the expertise developed with the first product?
  • How excited is the team about the opportunity? Has any fatigue set in from the current product?
  • Is…

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