From WhatsApp to Alexa: How product-market fit takes shape

Nick Lebesis
3 min readSep 15, 2020


You may think you’ve created the next Alexa or WhatsApp, but unless you’ve developed your product with market fit in mind, you could end up with Google Glass.

Learn expert practices and ideas for how to develop a product in order to achieve product-market fit. Explore the product-market fit pyramid and more.

At Product Ventures, we work with a key framework known as the product-market fit pyramid. We use this tool to teach teams how to develop a product that fits its market well.

Let’s take a look at the layers of the pyramid as well as the lean product process steps, and useful examples from today’s leading products.

What is product-market fit?

Product-market fit is when your customers love your product. You don’t have to convince people to try your product because they already believe it will help them.

For example, WhatsApp provided a free alternative to texting when the activity was expensive and inconvenient. Because the answer was clear, the app now has billions of users worldwide.

There are five key hypotheses of the product-market fit pyramid:

Foundation of the pyramid: The target customer

Identify who you are trying to create value for, or whose pain points you want to address. Create a hypothesis to identify your target customer.

Layer 2: What are the target customer’s underserved needs?

Further your hypothesis to pinpoint the underserved needs of your target customer. With WhatsApp, this was clear. Customers had data on their phones, so they were frustrated that they had to pay separately to call and text.

However, sometimes you need to determine the need yourself. For example, at Amazon, a customer did not specifically ask for Alexa. Amazon determined this need for a hands-free, eyes-free experience, and a successful new digital product was born.

To determine the best way to meet customer needs, use the Kano model. This model breaks down your product’s benefits into the categories of performance, must-haves, and delighters.

The part you control: product layers

Layer 3: Value proposition

Define the benefits your product will promise customers and how you will address their needs better than the competition.

The work you did using the Kano model to categorize your features as performance benefits, must-have needs, and delighters will help you define your value proposition, or the secret sauce that sets you apart from the competition.

Layer 4: Functionality

This is where the minimum viable product, or MVP, comes in. You don’t want to over-scope the functionality until you know you are heading in the right direction. Define the minimum functionality of your product or feature required to satisfy the market.

Tip of the pyramid: User experience

The customer uses the UX to take advantage of features and get the benefits your value proposition offers. This is the encapsulation of all the decisions and hypotheses you have developed along the way.

Final step of the lean product process: Leave the building

Now that you have learned how to develop a product to achieve market fit, it’s time to get it out into the world. After working your way through the product-market fit pyramid with the lean product process, it is time to leave the building, close the loop, and test your prototype or live product with customers.

At Product Ventures, we help partnering teams build useful, high quality digital products.

We bring expert level product skills within your organization. We play a hybrid role of; Product Owner / Manager, and Product Coach.

We collaborate with your customers, as well as your product and executive teams to deliver value in a deliberate way.

Connect with us to discuss your digital product needs. |



Nick Lebesis

Founder @ Product Ventures | We help partnering teams build useful, high quality digital products www.Product.Ventures