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Product/Market Fit Is The Red Pill For Startups, Travel’s Most Important Startups, And ShopUp Lessons

I’m late with this week's weekly review. It was a pretty tight week and I could not plan ahead. The lesson: having a plan is critical. On to the update.

In the blockbuster sci-fi movie Matrix, Neo, the protagonist, is offered the choice between a red pill and a blue pill by rebel leader Morpheus.”You take the blue pill,” says Morpheus to Neo, the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill—you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes. Remember: all I'm offering is the truth.”

Red pill is the adventure, Knowledge, freedom and the truth. In startups, product/market is the ultimate RED pill. I’m teaching a class Daffodil International University at their Department of Entrepreneurship and Innovation on business planning and venture startup. As part of my lecture, I was discussing the product/market fit with my students the other day. It dawned on me that product/market fit is everything for a startup.

When you have the product/market fit rest is easy. It is straightforward. We talk a lot about growth and customer acquisitions and all that but unless people want product there is no growth. Growth comes when there is a need for your product and when consumers want your product. That’s what we call demand-driven market. If you could find product/market fit, you are set for life. You can stay in the startup wonderland and explore and potentially win a big reward. If you are struggling to get traction, one of the likely causes could be that you have some more work to do in finding your product/market fit. Now how do you find the product/market fit? Steve Blank of Stanford has a wonderful answer, “get out of your building”.

The lack of diversity in the startup scene is changing (cue: we talked about it here)

The startup scene in Dhaka has a homogeneity problem. A new batch of up and coming startups are showing their heads. Last week, we featured two interesting companies: Rubik Print, a newly launched e-commerce startup that aims to provide on-demand design and printing solutions. Printing is a huge business and a lot is broken about printing. Rubik wants to fix them and turn itself into the Vista Print of Bangladesh. That’s a pretty worthy goal to have. The rest depends on the execution.

In the meantime, ShopUp is eyeing to expand its land-tech business and collaborate with ecommerce companies, logistics players and offline aggregators of merchants such as large scale superstores. This is a logical move and at the same time a break from its integrated strategy through which it came up with the credit assessment model. ShopUp offers some excellent lessons in vertical integration, distributed expansion, and strategic flexibility.

Travel continues to be a consistent coverage. We have published a list of 7 travel tech startups that we have found fascinating and think you should follow in 2019.

Share your tips/suggestions for us:

  1. If you come across any fascinating story or topic and want us to cover it, please shoot us an email at info@futurestartup.com
  2. We are always looking for exciting companies to cover and interesting entrepreneurs and makers to interview.
  3. You can also write for us through the FS network.

And best of Future Startup from last week…

  1. eCommerce Startup PriyoShop Turns 7 This Month, This Is The Founding Story Of PriyoShop
  2. Rubik Print Eyes To Disrupt Design And Printing Industry In Bangladesh
  3. 7 Hottest Travel-Tech Startups To Watch In Bangladesh In 2019
  4. The Most Important Lessons From ShopUp
  5. This Is How Foodpanda Engineered A Renewed Growth Push
Mohammad Ruhul Kader is a Dhaka-based entrepreneur and writer. He founded Future Startup, a digital publication covering the startup and technology scene in Dhaka with an ambition to transform Bangladesh through entrepreneurship and innovation. He writes about internet business, strategy, technology, and society. He is the author of Rethinking Failure. His writings have been published in almost all major national dailies in Bangladesh including DT, FE, etc. Prior to FS, he worked for a local conglomerate where he helped start a social enterprise. Ruhul is a 2022 winner of Emergent Ventures, a fellowship and grant program from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. He can be reached at ruhul@futurestartup.com

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