Product Market Fit
I’m 100% sure this will be controversial. Thoughts are my own and not of anyone or any organization connected to me directly or indirectly. This blog is written with ladies in mind because the question “why are there so many amazing women who remain single?” is related to them. Of course the same question can be asked of seemingly “eligible” men, but the answer is simpler in my opinion: they’re too afraid of failure, too entrenched in their comfort zone, too deep in porn, or too engaged in their life purpose to be bothered. Only the last is a positive. Many people wonder why there are many “awesome” single people who remain single. The first, and most obvious answer to this is simply, “Whoever said being awesome, or beautiful inside and out, or amazing, or impressive, or lovely entitled you to a spouse?” The simple truth is this: Nothing entitles us to a spouse. Besides, is the validation of someone’s “amazingness” really that they find a life spouse? If so, then why are there so many unhappy couples? Some kind of reward for being amazing. If you feel bad that no one is “choosing you”, you need to ask yourself why you feel bad. Maybe you’re looking for validation in the wrong place. In the Christian world, there’s a term for someone who is seeking the validation of their identity and the satisfaction of their souls from someone or something more than God, it’s called idolatry. Point Number 1: No one is entitled to a spouse Point Number 2: A spouse isn’t, or at least shouldn’t, be seen, by you or by anyone, as a validation of someone’s beauty. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, we can jump into what I believe explains why there are many unattached “amazing people”. My answer in 3 words: Product-Market Fit, with the term “value proposition” being a better alternative to the word “product”, as people aren’t “products” or “services” but we are all value propositions, which simply means our lives deliver different kinds and different and levels of value. While every person has identical ontological value from simply being human, not everyone has achieved or is even conscously trying to achieve a higher source of acquired value by the actualization of conscious activities through constant, even rigid, personal development. To put it another way, not everyone develops themselves to become amazing value propositions to the world. Most are content to be cheered on by inspirations, by well-meaning but misguided friends who know how to butter up but don’t know how to confront the ugliness that is present in all of us, and by the popular messages of today that keep telling us we’re awesome even if we’re selfish, that we’re the master of our lives when we can’t even master our job, and that we’re beautiful when we’re really vain, and vanity, for me, is highly unattractive. To put it simply, we’re all born with equal dignity, but we’re not cultivated equally, so offer different value propositions to the world. A person who cultivated his mind will be able to offer a more cultivated mind to the world. A person who cultivated his body will be able to offer a more cultivated body than someone who didn’t. A person who cultivated his spirit will be able to offer a more cultivated spirit. Isn’t that obvious? (I feel dumb to even have to write that, but I have to, simply because someone will read this and say I’m being unfair, and that we’re all the same. No. We’re not all the same. We may share a minimum level of value and dignity, but what we do with who we are and with what we have, determines what we accomplish, the levels we reach, and the benefits we can offer the world.) Point Number 3 is this: We’re all offering a level of value to the world based on how we have cultivated the different aspects of our lives. This brings us back to Product-Market Fit Product-Market Fit simply means, the people in charge of the product or value proposition have been able to rightly identify the high value needs of their target market segment, successfully developed compelling value propositions (offerings) that meet the needs and desires of the target market, and have effectively (and hopefully authentically) communicated their value propostion, the value they bring to the table, at a price that their chosen target market is willing to pay. Or another way to put it: If you compellingly communicate your life’s value proposition and it successfully fulfills the high value needs of your chosen target market, the chances of them responding to your offering are very high. So lets break this down. This is a foolproof way to finding an amazing partner, and I believe it applies to both men and women:
1. The People in Charge of the Product: Thats YouOne of the most important lessons parents need to teach their kids is this: Your life is what you make it. In a world where people are so preoccupied with what’s fair or what the “rights” are supposed to be, many are failing to understand that all of these expectations of what our world should be are dependent on our ability to make them happen in the real world and not just in our heads if people believe that the world should be a certain way but do not possess the responsibility to act nor the discipline to act effectively, then the world they create for themselves, the life they’re going to have, is not going to reflect the ideals in their head. This is a major problem today: we have a highly entitled generation that lacks responsibility, accountability, and discipline. They want a better world without having the pressure of making a better world. The first thing you need to understand, if you’re going to make an awesome value proposition, you need to take full accountability for your results. Let me put it bluntly: if you’re failing, it’s not because the world is unfair. It’s because you haven’t figured it out. I’m not saying you’re not trying. You probably are. But we aren’t rewarded for our attempts but our successes. Our attempts increase our chances of success, but until we succeed, we cannot expect the reward. Maybe you haven’t learned enough, connected with the right people, etc. your life is what you make it. If you feel fat, it’s probably because you take in more calories than you burn. If you don’t meet guys it’s probably because you’re not engaging the world and making a dent. If you’re always meeting the wrong guys you’re probably surrounding yourself with the wrong people. You’re the common denominator. If you feel ugly, it’s not because of the world’s unfair beauty standard. It’s because you have unfair beauty standards. You’re holding yourself up to their standards, when you’re completely free to be comfortable in your own skin. Note: One common trait I notice among ladies who feel unattractive is that they have a lot of crushes, particularly celebrity crushes. Of course they’ll feel unattractive. They’re taking the most attractive people in a society, who are chosen almost solely for their attractiveness, and then measuring themselves up to them. If I measured my value based on how well I played basketball compared to Lebron James I would be very insecure. He’s at the top of the world when it comes to that. I can be the best in the world at other things. That’s what I’m working on. How do we compare ourselves to these high and unrealistic standards? We do so when we put an undue level of adulation and admiration on them. When we become fans of something or someone, we praise the value of that thing or person, we essentially say, “This thing is beautiful. This thing is significant”. So if what we believe is significant is so far from us, of course we’ll be insecure. So instead of being a fan of others, be an owner of your own life, and develop it. Instead of worshipping how others are so cute or great or smart of talented, work on making sure you’re as presentable as possible, as useful as possible, as healthy as possible, as purposeful as possible – and embrace the fact that no one will do this for you and you need to do it for yourself. Your life is what you make it.
2. Your Target Market: For Whose Pleasure Do You Exist?“Ok, David, I’m taking ownership of my life. I’m going to stop whining and I’m going to start working on my value proposition, my life. What’s the next step in finding an amazing partner?” Well that depends on you. What’s an amazing partner? You need to define the type of partner you would like to serve. Notice that I didn’t say, “Who would you like to attract?” That’s because, just like in businesses, the most amazing products / value propositions come from people who are extremely customer-oriented. Their target market, understand the key pains of their market, and develop offerings that address these key pains better than anyone. That keeps customers coming back. If no one is buying your product it probably means your product just isn’t that good OR my product is good but I’m trying to sell it to someone who values other things more. What is good for one market may be terrible to another. Like, I’m not attracted to princess with yayas, but many people are. So someone who offers a princess with yaya value proposition will be unattractive to me but attractive to someone else. Again, like I’ll be saying over and over in this post, it’s just logic. So the logical next step, after taking ownership of my life, is identifying the target market I will serve. For example, I know that my leadership style will not work with most people. Our teams work long hours, attempt seemingly impossible targets, and when we’ve proven doubters wrong (including ourselves) we go and look for bigger things to challenge ourselves with. We don’t have cushy offices. We don’t have crazy perks. I don’t tolerate office drama. So my strictness won’t work well for many (probably most). But for people who want to unleash their life’s best work, they find it to be empowering. It’s not because other leadership styles won’t work, it’s just a different style catering to different people. Many people suffer from a sickness many companies have: they have the wrong market or are trying to sell to everyone. This is one of the best ways to be rejected and fail. If you’re a godly person, determined to live by the standards of the Bible, determined to love God first, serve others, and be a living sacrifice, denying oneself of the lust of the flesh and the pride of life, why in the world would you ever hope to be attractive to someone who represents values contrary to this? If these are really the things that are important to you, then why do your crushes not reflect this? Why are the people you’re so impressed with poor reflections of this. Again, it’s illogical. You’re determined to make your life a certain value proposition but you want to offer it to a market that doesn’t want what you have to offer. Why? I can only think of two answers:
- Your head values, the values you know you should have are inconsistent with your heart values, the values we truly beat for.
- You’ve just never realized the illogical idea of wanting to live out certain values yet be attractive to someone who lives a very different set
3. Rightly Identify High Value Needs and Desires: Do You Understand What Your Target Market Truly Needs and Wants?I don’t know how many times I’ve heard people advice singles to make a list of what they want in a partner. I wish someone would make a website that allows people to submit their lists. Would be interesting to see all the different bullet points. This would be like a startup having a meeting, without even fixing their product yet, and the boss begins by saying “Ok guys. We only sell to high net worth individuals who have a certain degree and company position. And we only sell each for a million dollars. ” Then a lowly clerk raised his hand and said, “Um sir, that’s all well and good, but what exactly are we offering to these high net worth individuals? Why would they want to pay a million dollars for whatever it is we are going to offer?” Great value propositions don’t start with what they want from others. They start, they obsess about why their offering is the best, and they do this by focusing on fulfilling the high value needs of their target market. For starters, there are two groups of high value needs you can look into:
- The high value needs of people in general
- High value needs of men (or women) in general
- The high value needs of your specific man (or woman)
4. Successfully Develop Compelling Offerings (that meet high value needs and desires):Does Your Life’s Value Proposition effectively communciate: Does Your Target Market See It? Do You Make a Dent? I think a lot of people also suffer from the second sickness many companies do: they’re too impressed and in love with their own product. They think that who they are, what they have, is the s***, when they haven’t validated this with their market. Maybe you are impressive. Maybe you’re not. Because market validation means people are willing to pay the cost for what you have. Here’s my tip to defeat this: don’t surround yourself with cheerleaders. Surround yourself with standards. Cheerleaders are people who are full of encouraging fluff: nice to hear things that don’t fundamentally improve you. Fundamental improvement to me means moving forward in your purpose, growing in wisdom, strengthening health, cultivating the right relationships, and growing your financial base. Set standards or high levels of achievement. They are targets by which we benchmark ourselves by. A lot of people love being surrounded by people who will tell them, “Girl, you’re so beautiful.” When what they really need is a manager telling them “Girl, you’ve been late over half the time. Your targets are way off compared to your peers. And if you dont change, you’re fired.” While the latter is more painful to hear, it is more important to hear and heed the wakeup call than it is to rest on fluff. Instead of seeking someone to tell you you’re pretty or sexy or whatever, go measure yourself. Measure the amount of time you spend with God. Maybe you’ll find that you’re not as spiritual as you think, as seen by your lack of hours with God and abundance of hours on entertainment gossip. Stop asking people if you look fat, hoping to be told you don’t. Measure your body fat percentage. Weigh yourself. Compare it to the percentage standards. If you’re above your height and weight %, you have your real answer: you’re fat. Then either be ok with it or workout. Based on my last measure, I’m failing my body from a fat % point of view. So now I daily track to get back to peak shape. I want my wife to have a healthier, stronger, and better looking husband every year. That’s part of my value proposition to her. So I need the honest measurements that tell me whether I’m doing well or not. Yes, I want my wife to love me for who I am, but I also want who I am to be lovable. I am not entitled to my wife’s love. No one is entitled to anyone’s love. The Bible constantly reminds us of our obligation to love, but never ever teaches that people are entitled to love. I’m convinced that if more people embraced their obligations more than their entitlements, there would be more people building families and/or building strong communities. Let’s review our definition for product-market fit: Product-Market Fit simply means, the people in charge of the product or value proposition have been able to rightly identify the high value needs of their target market segment, successfully developed compelling value propositions (offerings) that meet the needs and desires of the target market, and have effectively (and hopefully authentically) communicated their value propostion, the value they bring to the table, at a price that their chosen target market is willing to pay. The next part is…
5. Have effectively communicated their value proposition…Ok, let’s say you’re doing all the steps above and you’re still not seeing any results, it could be because of three things:
- You haven’t given it enough time (so be patient and consistently develop your value proposition)
- You have not really improved your value proposition to a level that your target market appreciates. (so be honest with yourself and do the necessary hard things)
- You haven’t communicated it effectively
6. At a price the target market is willing to pay.Every Sunday morning, around Burgos Circle, gathers a group (or groups) of car fanatics. These cars are worth millions. You can’t drive home a Ferrari unless you cough up the dough (unless you stole it). If you can’t afford it you can’t have it. It’s the same as buying a shirt from a store. There’s a price, if you pay it, you can have it. Now if a store sets the price too high, then the customer is completely free to reject the offer. He will naturally do this if he determines that the value he’s getting for the price he’s paying does not make sense. If he goes ahead with the transaction this reveals some potential problems:
- He’s a fool and didn’t weigh the value and price exchange wisely
- He doesn’t really care and is not a good steward with his resources
- He is ignorant of what things are really worth
- Love the Lord your God – who you should be putting all those hopes and desires on is not a guy but God. I’d hate to be the guy who has to fulfill all the desires of a female. I know I’ll fail. A person who has placed her expectations on a single mortal person will not only be disappointed but unable to fulfill the second point, which is…
- Love your neighbor. How will you love someone selflessly when your own self is validated by that person? It’s hard to love someone deeply when they keep disappointing you, and for sure your partner will. How can we love others when we are selfishly wanting the best of them without having the pressure of giving the best of ourselves?
- “God, this is the kind of man I want. I want someone that doesn’t exist.” – And we wonder why we’re not married. I think it’s more likely that God is answering our prayer with a “No. You’re nuts.” than a “Sure, my warrior princess daughter. Let me create a male unicorn just for you.”
- “I think I deserve a kind of man like this” – I would hate to be in a relationship with anyone who thinks they deserve me (or don’t deserve me). Because a relationship is not about what anyone deserves but about what people will fight for. You deserve what you fight for. Do I deserve Yasmin? Nope. Does she deserve me? Nope. But we chose each other and we work this out daily. Thinking we deserve a certain quality person is entitlement.
- “Hi world! I’m deluded!” – I think delusion is a major turn-off. Who wants to be married to someone whose world view seems more like it came from a hot box (when people smoke weed in a car) than from deep reflection on God’s word and the principles of the world. First of all, do you have superstarlooks, an athletes body, a scientist’s brain, and the spirituality of Mother Theresa? Chances are you don’t. So God’s supposed to answer your prayer for Mr. Perfect by causing him to marry you, despite the fact that you’re nothing like that which you want. I know I’m not perfect. Not even close. I’m glad my wife has a head on her shoulders, and din’t want a perfect man. Secondly, anyone who is so easily in love with the highlights of a person is too dumb to realize a most basic reality: Those are highlights. Life has highlights, but they’re not all highlights. This is something women will understand: if your last hair coloring was all highlights, then you would have no highlights. Like hair, life ha dark tones, mid tones, and highlights. While the highlights are supposed to me make things more attractive, the other sections complete the picture. In a sense they highlight the highlight. To desire a man who is all highlights is simply naive.