Don't hire a marketer until product-market fit

Early in my career, I worked in a startup that had everything it needed to be successful (at least I thought it did): Investor money, the market was interested in us and a professional team.

The Problem: No one wanted to pay for the solution. We couldn’t find customers no matter what we did – eventually the company closed. I was devastated. We had so much interest in the market and I, as a marketer, failed to find customers. 

That stuck with me. How could it be that we were failing?

I tried to find out what had gone wrong and learned more and more about it. Slowly, I realized the mistakes we had made. The only thing we were missing was product-market fit

From that point on, I was sure I wanted to help other startups avoid this.

I started as a freelancer and my first client was a startup at that very stage. This gave me a chance to put my newfound knowledge to the test. Step by step, we worked strategically towards achieving product-market fit. 

And we did it. In less than 6 months we achieved and validated product-market fit, worked with DAX companies and achieved 7+ figure revenues – completely bootstrapped. 

Since then, I have worked with many startups on this topic. The insight I have gained over the last few years: Many startups are looking for employees way too early. As Sam Altman (ex-president of Y Combinator) said, „hiring before you get product/market fit slows you down.“ And this is especially true with marketing. 

As a founder, your ultimate goal should be to achieve product-market fit. No additional marketing, no marketer, no waste of money.

Focus only on achieving product-market fit. To help you achieve product-market fit without a marketer, follow my content on Twitter and in my newsletter.  

Cheers 

Hey there, my name is Andreas Just and I have worked with several early-stage tech startups, providing them with strategic and operational advice and support as a freelancer to scale and reach product-market fit. Currently I am working in a German GreenTech startup as a Growth Marketing Manager.