Dare to Scale: Challenging the Common Understanding of the Product-Market Fit with Vassil Terziev

Vassil Terziev, Co-Chairman of the Board of Endeavor Bulgaria, Partner at Eleven Ventures  and Co-founder of Telerik Academy, led  the first of 6 scheduled workshops of Dare to Scale’s 2020 edition. Vassil provided the founders of the 12 participating companies with a deep-dive into one of the most crucial entrepreneurial concepts.

Vassil challenged the popular Product-Market Fit definition which revolves around the product creation in its core. He advised against over-investing efforts in building a complex product that accommodates a wide array of use cases and customer requirements. Instead, Vassil urged young companies to channel their resources into creating a simple valuable solution to a real-world problem that resonates to a specific pool of uniform customers. He compared this approach to forming a team of similarly skilled individuals, instead of composing a team full of star players who are competing with each other.

Vassil also stressed having a quantifiable value proposition which echoes with the needs of the perspective buyer. He also advised the audience to consider their competitive differentiation not on the product, but on a value proposition level and to have a thorough understanding of competitors.

When it comes to market size estimations, Vassil revealed that many businesses are afraid of targeting too small a market, which should not be the case because it is easier to expand from a small market that you dominate than from the point of irrelevance.

When talking about the product itself, Vassil highlighted that it should not be considered as an endgame but as part of an entire customer journey. He suggested that having multiple product versions before the actual launch is often considered the norm. The importance of having a customer success team, responsible for the entire customer experience process and its multiple stages was also discussed.

Vassil touched upon the subject of the Go-To-Market strategy and shared his best practices on executing a successful product release and promotion. As a conclusion, he recommended several reads related to the topic – “Crossing the chasm” by Geoffrey Moore, „Disciplined Entrepreneurship” by Bill Aulet, and a number of blogs, such as “For Entrepreneurs” by Matrix Partners.

Thank you Vasko for sharing your experience and practical advice! Thanks to Postbank, Software Group and BSMEPA for supporting this year’s program and to Campus X for hosting us!

The Dare to Scale Growth program continues with individual 1:1 mentorship sessions during which the founders tackle their most pressing challenges. The next workshop is scheduled for October 8th on Go to Market Strategy and will be led by Svetozar Georgiev, Co-founder of Telerik Academy.