It’s a tale as old as time: A founder establishes a new startup and successfully raises a hefty sum of venture capital money. The next hurdle? Finding product-market fit. Piece of cake, right? Just throw all that money at sales and marketing and watch the growth skyrocket. Not so fast. While it’s true that pouring money into advertising can temporarily boost growth, finding the right way to achieve sustainable growth is a whole different ballgame.
Matt Lerner, a seasoned veteran with 11 years of experience as PayPal’s marketing guru followed by four years at 500 startups, has seen companies of all shapes and sizes struggle to acquire customers. In his new book, Growth Levers and How to Find Them, he makes a compelling case for defining the most effective way to sell your product.
For PayPal, their initial product-market fit came unexpectedly from eBay. It was by simply keeping a close eye on how users were utilizing the product that they discovered the hidden potential.
“One day, someone noticed that 54 of the sellers actually wrote into their eBay listings, ‘please pay me with PayPal,'” Lerner shared with TechCrunch+. He brought this to the attention of the executive team at the time.
Their initial reaction was to remove those users from the system, as they weren’t the target market.
“Fortunately, David Sacks came back the next day and said, ‘I think we found our market,'” Lerner recalled. “Let’s