Six simple questions to test product-market fit and competitive advantage (from Y Combinator’s application form)

Questions from Y Combinator’s application form; I’ve re-arranged the order and inserted the headings:

Product-market fit
1. What’s new about what you’re making?
2. How do you know people need what you’re making?
3. What substitutes do people resort to because it doesn’t exist yet (or they don’t know about it)?

Competitive advantage
1. Why did you pick this idea to work on?
2. Do you have domain expertise in this area?
3. What do you understand about your business that other companies in it just don’t get?

Notes:
(1) Note the similarities to Clarifying your strategy using a simple template.
(2) Re. “Why did you pick this idea to work on?”, see Passionate founders and product-market fit.
(3) See the section on Product-Market Fit in Best Practices for Startups.

4 thoughts on “Six simple questions to test product-market fit and competitive advantage (from Y Combinator’s application form)

  1. Pingback: Three useful questions for assessing business ideas | THE EQUITY KICKER

  2. Reblogged this on a Little Light and commented:
    Great points in the post below. Similar to an SAT test where only 10% of the questions are truly challenging, there are a few points in a pitch which really matter. In summary, they can be condensed to the following two questions: “what’s the secret sauce” and “why you, why now?”. If these can be answered adequately, its likely that the founder has stumbled on a good idea and is in position to carry it out.

  3. Pingback: The three most important things for seed stage startups to get right | A Founder's Notebook

  4. Pingback: What to expect after your product goes live | A Founder's Notebook

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