Coordination is work. Growing up, I was quite confused about the need for mechanisms of coordination (money, management, social norms...) which all come with real costs. The confusion resolved for each only when I finally understood how they did required work for coordination.
Interestingly, these coordination mechanisms seem to be "ontologically basic". I'm not sure we've invented a fourth kind. Money/market coordination, centralized/hierarchical coordination, and distributed/norm coordination. They all have upsides and downsides.
You can blend the three together in various ways, and almost all real systems use some combination of each. I think it's interesting to consider how each of them feels controlling, although in a different way.
1/ After my recent tweet, an entrepreneur emailed me and asked, "I understand what product/market fit feels like now, but I'm stuck pushing the boulder up the hill. How long does it take to crest the hill? How do I get to the top?"
2/ It takes an arbitrarily long time to reach p/m fit. Some founders get there almost immediately after launching their product, some take years of tinkering. You don't know how tall your hill is, no one does. You're doing something new, pushing a boulder into the unknown.
3/ Twitch reached p/m fit about 4 months after we started working on gaming with a focus on live streamers (vs viewers). That was after five years failing to find p/m fit in live video with Justin.tv, and Twitch was an iteration of that long search that succeeded.
1/ What is “product/market fit”? I’m not sure I can give you a definition. But maybe I can share what the subjective difference is in how it feels when you have it and when you don’t. Founding a startup is deciding to take on the burden of Sisyphus: pushing a boulder up a hill.
If you stop pushing, the boulder doesn’t move. Every inch you push the boulder requires full effort. If you get distracted or stop working, the boulder might actually roll back down. You’re sweating and shoving and progress comes slowly and incrementally.
3/ But the trick is, you aren’t really Sisyphus. The gods have not condemned you. It might feel like you’re Sisyphus, you might have the boulder roll back down to the bottom again and again. You might try rolling the boulder up a neighboring hill and fail again.