In the first post in this series, we discussed how central subscription-product fit should be to your subscription business. In the second post, we’ve unpacked the distinction at the heart of subscription-product fit — Use vs Pay.

How do we translate this Use vs Pay distinction into an actionable approach to subscription development? The following principles apply:

Look at…

You have a product with a growing user base. You have a subscription that monetizes your product. How do you know that you’ve struck the right balance and achieved subscription-product fit?

To answer that question, we need to understand the fundamental distinction at the heart of subscription-product fit — the Use vs Pay distinction. As we’ll see, subscription products have the unique challenge of involving not just one but two fundamental customer decisions — the decision to start using the product, and the decision to purchase the subscription.

Model-product fit

To understand this dual decision, it’s important to take a step back…

“If you build it, they will come,” is a long dying myth among startups. Its victims are many. The stereotypical story goes something like this: a bunch of brainy engineers build something technically brilliant. It can go to the metaphorical moon, but there’s no market for it. The product, as wonderful as it is in a vacuum, fails. Add great product and design folks to the stereotype and the outcome will end up the same. A brilliant product, without a market, is a failed product.

Out of this cautionary tale was born an elegant dictum: “Achieve product/market fit.” Marc Andreessen

Jesse Germinario

Product, growth, data, archery

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