Andy Rachleff about Product-Market Fit

Collection of quotes and resources about Product-Market Fit by Andy Rachleff.

Who is Andy Rachleff?

Andy Rachleff is a co-founder and Executive Chairman of Wealthfront. In 1995 he co-founded Benchmark Capital, which invested in eBay, Snapchat, Twitter and Uber. Andy Rachleff teaches technology entrepreneurship at Stanford Graduate School of Business. He is also a board member of Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation. Read more on Wikipedia.


Product-Market Fit is #1 priority for new startups

"The single most important issue for the entrepereneur to succeed is to find product-market fit. " "When you first start out the only thing that matters is finding a cohort of customers who truly value what you offer."

Product-Market Fit trumps Execution

"To me, product-market fit trumps execution. You may execute really well but if the dogs don't wanna eat the dog food you're going to fail. Conversly, you may be terrible at execution, but if the customers wanna buy your product, you'll be a great success. And customer development helps you figure out what the dogs want to eat."

Growth without Product-Market Fit means nothing

"Growth alone means next to nothing. Growth without value to the customer is likely to lead nowhere–or worse, to a big flameout."

Product-Market Fit and Value Hypothesis

"Identifying a compelling value hypothesis is what I call finding product/market fit. A value hypothesis addresses both the features and business model required to entice a customer to buy your product."

First Value Hypothesis, then Growth Hypothesis

"You must first develop and test a value hypothesis and then move on to your growth hypothesis. A value hypothesis is an attempt to articulate the key assumption that underlies why a customer is likely to use your product. A growth hypothesis represents your best thinking about how you can scale the number of customers attracted to your product or service."

Network Effect requires Product-Market Fit

"You can’t catalyze the network effect if you don’t provide greater value up front than is required in a non-network-effects business. In other words you can’t get growth without exceptional value."

Word of mouth proves Product-Market Fit

"You know you have fit if your product grows exponentially with no marketing. That is only possible if you have huge word of mouth."

Dominate a niche before attacking a big market

"If you want to build a big business, you don’t go after the big market first, because those people only buy based on references, and you don’t have the references. You need to create a beachhead, a niche you can dominate. Through references, you grow from that niche of early adopters."

Look for desperation and lack of alternatives

"Well, I’ve reduced my entire product market fit class to one question. That is: what do you uniquely offer that people desperately want? Because if they’re not desperate, there’s a good enough alternative. Let me tell you, if there’s a good enough alternative, you’re doomed."


Article "Why You Should Find Product-Market Fit Before Sniffing Around For Venture Money" by Andy Rachleff for Fast Company. Published: 2013-07-25.

Interview with Andy Rachleff for Mixenergy in which he covers product-market fit among other topics. Published: 2017-02-15.

Video interview "What Do Entrepreneurs Need to Succeed?" with Andy Rachleff for Stanford Graduate School of Business, in which he explains the importance of Product-Market Fit. Published: 2012-11-08.

Related resources (by other authors)

Notes from the course "Aligning Start-ups with their Market" taught by Andy Rachleff at Stanford GSB. Written by Parsa Saljoughian. Published on Medium on 2017-05-11.