Aakash Gupta Profile picture
Jul 4 1 tweets 2 min read Read on X
Product-market fit is not enough anymore. You need position-market fit:

There was a time, not too long ago, where in startupland one could build a thing that solved a real problem, put a price tag on it, and see if the market wanted it:

• If they did, then we would have said he had found product-market fit
• If they didn’t, we would say he didn’t and it was “back to the lab”

That time, for better or worse, is long gone.

Here’s how @0zne and I break it down:

In 2024, a utility provided through software can’t make a dent effectively anymore. People’s heads are overstuffed with competing products, messaging, and narratives. It’s hard for a product alone to get a market edge.

The main exceptions are new tech or hyper-niche markets. ChatGPT, for example. But that is a rare instances of breakthrough technology where the “product” itself carries the bulk of the impact.

Most companies don't have that luxury and are not in such a position. So, if a product alone isn’t enough, then what is enough?

Enter position-market-fit.

• If “product-market-fit” means that you’ve found the right kind of product that the market wants…
• “Position-market-fit” means that you’ve found the right combination of product/brand/marketing/pricing/go-to-market/sales/etc in a given domain.

The Importance of Brain Estate

The fundamental reason why “position-market-fit” is so important is that it operates more at a personal and subconscious level. Our brains can only conceptualize a finite set of “characters'' per domain.

Similar to the "Dunbar number" rule, which suggests we can maintain stable social relationships with up to 150 people, our brains are wired to understand only a finite number of company-market associations.

Gaining a strong positional edge, or nailing “position-market-fit” is the exercise through which a company, with the right combination of product, brand, pricing, marketing and go-market is able to conquer a certain portion of consumer “brain-estate.”

The Story of Startup Success

If you step back and analyze some of the best startups from the last decade, you'll see they excelled at this.

→ Are you building in an established market dominated by large incumbents with feature-bloated, slow, and clunky software? In that case, you might want to position your product as a speed-first, high-craft, premium option, similar to a luxury car company. Does Linear ring a bell?

→ Alternatively, if you're entering a highly commoditized market dominated by a few corporate-looking brands, consider positioning yourself as the quirky, fun company that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Embrace the David vs. Goliath narrative with bold, edgy marketing and design. Does Arc Browser come to mind?

Their pricing strategies are almost a second-order effect of their employed market positioning.

And that’s the power of position-market fit.Image

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More from @aakashg0

Jul 1
Steal this template for your homepage: Image
1. Above the Fold

This is the most important part of the homepage. Too many people waste the space:

A. Convey the category of software your product is in, and how your solution differs
B. Add in wow logos from industries in your ICP (ideal customer profile)
2. Three Key Value Props

Remember the rule of threes.

Deliver on your hook above the fold and make your differentiators crystal clear.

Don't just tell, either. Show. Let people experience the product. Attio's videos move when you scroll.
Read 7 tweets
Jun 10
There’s a paradox of seniority: people get more messages, yet they are even more responsive.

This is especially true for important emails.

Here’s why: Image
THE IC LIFE

As an Individual Contributor, your work (outside of certain roles) mostly is internal to your company.

You can spend the vast majority of your day in Slack for responsive tasks.

Email responsiveness matters, but it’s not the most important thing.
THE MIDDLE MANAGER LIFE

As you become a middle manager, email starts to matter more.

You’re hiring folks externally, making calls on agencies… And there’s lots of rapid decision-making to be done cross-functionally.

Responsiveness ramps accordingly.
Read 9 tweets
Jun 1
For a company founded in '93, Nvidia's ascent to $2.7T market cap has been FAST. But what really is Nvidia's moat?

Let's break it down.

PART 1 — SOFTWARE

The story starts all the way back in the early 2000s. That's when Jensen Huang, Nvidia CEO, and his team were out meeting researchers using their products.

Most researchers were hacking graphics packages to run complex parallel compute tasks. It was not ideal. To say the least.

So, when the Nvidia team met Ian Buck, who had the vision of running general purpose programming languages on GPUs, they funded his Ph.D. After graduation, Ian came to Nvidia to commercialize the tech.

Two years later, in 2006, Nvidia released CUDA.

C ompute
U nified
D evice
A rchitecture

CUDA made all those parallelization hacks the researchers were doing available to everyone. Over time, CUDA became the default choice for researchers.

CUDA allowed accessible customization of the low-level hardware. So developers loved it.

Nowadays, when startups like MosaicML evaluate the available technology vs CUDA, they inevitably choose CUDA.

The ecosystem around CUDA has grown so robust that its lead is virtually unbeatable. This software layer is at the core of Nvidia's moat.

PART 2 — HARDWARE

The other side of Nvidia's moat is hardware. But it's not graphics cards for crypto and gaming. The hardware that matters is AI supercomputers.

The story of these supercomputers begins in the late 2000s. As Nvidia was developing CUDA, Jensen asked the team to build a supercomputer to help him build better chips.

The result was a massive supercomputer that weighed 100 pounds and strung together many GPUs with world-class networking for ultra-fast computing.

In the early 2010s, Jensen gave a talk at a conference about this AI supercomputer. Elon Musk got wind of it and said, "I want one."

So, in 2016, Jensen actually donated one to Elon Musk's relatively unknown nonprofit, OpenAI. He hand delivered it, and there's photographic proof.

OpenAI quickly learned the supercomputer worked really well. Especially for training large neural networks. That 2016 Pascal architecture delivered an impressive 19 TFLOPS of FP16 operations.

That's 19 trillion floating point operations per second. It's a massive amount. But that was just the beginning.

Since then, Jensen and the Nvidia team have been lapping the industry in delivering more TFLOPS, growing them at an exponential rate.

The latest Blackwell architecture delivers a massive 5000 TFLOPS. That's >260x AI computer in 8 years. And sells for more than $75K. But buyers like Meta, OpenAI, Google, and Amazon just can't get enough, as their internal ASICs are nowhere near Nvidia's level.

As a result, Nvidia's profits and market cap continue to soar, cementing its position as a leader in the AI hardware and software space.Image
Jensen is one of the most impressive entrepreneurs alive.

He spotted the AI revolution before any other semiconductor CEO and bet the company on it.

That's a rare trait.
And he has a rare management style as well.

He has over 60 direct reports, and doesn't have 1:1s with any of them.

He believes in sharing feedback in public, so everyone can learn from it. And he also does it to remove layers.

Quite the maverick.
Read 5 tweets
May 25
There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to GTM.

Maja Voje and I studied 12 leading B2B SaaS companies.

(including interviews with their teams)

Here’s what we learned: Image
1. PLG is eating the world

>80% of the companies in our study employ PLG in some fashion.

Even enterprise companies like Snowflake and Salesforce are adding free trials & freemium.

It’s the new normal.
Why is this working for them?

In 2024, the best marketing is often your product.

Users rarely want to lock in a $500K+ contract without trying the product first.

But you do need to layer on a strong product-led sales motion to make enterprise work.
Read 13 tweets
May 16
There's so many ways orgs mess up transforming the product team away from the feature factory.

Here's the top one's, as I see them: Image
1. Understanding and commitment

It's not enough to just have engineering, product, and design on board for transformation.

Transformation impacts marketing, sales, customer success, finance...

You need to drive top-down alignment from the CEO and Senior Leadership Team.
2. Shifting culture

Cultural shift is often the hardest element of a transformation:

• Sales is used to promising features
• Marketing is used to dates when features will arrive

The mistake people make is to gloss over the real tensions for the sake of meeting a schedule.
Read 7 tweets
May 12
The fractional CPO role is the hottest new role in product.

Here's what you need to know:

1/10 Image
1. Fractional v Interim v Consulting

It's easy to confuse the variety of non-traditional product leadership jobs these days.

You can think of a simple 2x2 to distinguish them.

You ask 2 questions:

• Do you lead product?
• Are you full-time?

2/10
This breaks down the four types:

1. Lead product & full-time: Interim CPO

2. Lead product & part time: Fractional CPO

3. Don't lead product & full-time: Regular PM

4. Don't lead product & part-time: Product Consultant or Coach

3/10
Read 11 tweets

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