My Thoughts on Startup School’s Week Two Lecture on Product Market Fit as Delivered by David Rusenko, YC Alum

By Teria Yarhere

So, while I still have burning internal questions from week one classes, week two brings up more questions but before I dive in, I want to express the importance of the “office hours”. Being able to sit with different builders and creators within your group opens up a new shared experience and knowledge cannot be over-emphasised. I see why it’s a must for the program.

Last week, I saw the need to have a co-founder. I know I need several co-founders to be honest but what I need for now are non-coders that will carry some of my present burden, and a technical one also to lead the platform build. So, I had begun to speak and shortlist potential candidates from the many people I knew who could fit and when I thought I might be making a headway (especially in order to meet the weekly metrics) my office hours meeting threw me right back to the start.

It wasn’t so much the bulk of the discussions we had in the group but just a little warning from a group member. “Do not rush to have a co-founder…measure their commitment in great and not-so great times before affixing the title of co-founder especially because it could hurt the company in the future if co-founders keep coming and going.” Giving her experience as an example, this made perfect sense to be more cautious and that’s how I’m back to the slow burn of dating (finding the best co-founder/partner there is for me).

With that being said, this week’s lectures made me realise how much work I had done regarding achieving the product fit of what I was looking to launch (achieving product fit is a journey which involves locating the right market for your product). One of the biggest things I had done previously was to do a survey within the two markets that I was looking to serve. Being a creative, I understood from the creative point of view but it was really a discussion I had a few years ago with some industry practitioners in a studio somewhere off Toyin street in Ikeja Lagos that really set me on this course for which I am on.

I had just paid for the platform to be built and so was shopping for acts to sign up even though it was not ready yet, I wanted to at least have acts ready to sign up at or before launch. My goal was to get 100 albums on the platform for starters. This was not going to be a difficult process being that I am one of “us” (a respected music act). So, I was recording a project at the Toyin street studio and in true entertainment fashion, a good studio is rarely empty so a couple other artistes were there waiting for my session to end. When I was done, I hung around a bit and engaged a couple artistes and their managers/friends.

I explained what the platform was going to do and how the artiste would benefit blah blah when a young manager asked me the most profound question that nobody had asked me prior. This guy went further to say he would sign up if I could solve that challenge. Of course I argued it out and tried to defend my product but I was fortunate enough to listen more. I then decided to do a survey amongst artiste on what they needed the most based on this guy’s truth. I knew what he was saying was true and my platform was only going to solve half of the challenge and while I had overlooked the need for that solution, I asked myself, why wait later, why not work towards it now?

This reason is why the penetration for most music apps in Africa are not having referrals. My app must have great return use value and be social enough to get referrals. This plus other trade secrets will make the difference with our platform because as obvious as it is, nobody is doing it that way locally or internationally at that… which is odd right? But it made me know I was onto something great. All I can say is Leggo!

Teria Yarhere, popularly known by his alias M-trill, is a Nigerian rapper and Creative Director of IngeniousNG, a creative consultancy company. You can find out more about him through his social media account @mtrillteria.

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