Make it Happen March

Product-Market Fit

Who are you customers and/or users?
How do you find them?
How do you keep and grow them?

Core Concepts: Get, Keep and Grow; Sales and Marketing; Customer Acquisition Strategies and Customer Acquisition Costs (CAC); Customer Relationships/Retention, Marketing & Distribution Channels.

Outcomes: Clear Customer Acquisition Strategy for recurring revenue, Understanding of Market Size and Future Potential

Click to enlarge.

This is listed in a detailed step-by-step fashion. Please be sure to review all portions of this page:

Here’s an easy to use guide to all the links on the page


  1. Update your VPC and/or BMC using Rise@.

  2. Update your goals sheet.

  3. We strongly recommend you go through Udacity Lessons 7 & 8 (Channels & Customer Relationships) to give you a solid understanding of the topics you are interviewing people about.

  4. Schedule some VVM community support/network meetings between bootcamp weekends. You have several choices:

    1. Schedule a 20 minute session with an EIRs.  They are awesome - take advantage of their expertise and availability.  Each is offering several slots for startups between bootcamp weekends via their scheduling apps of choice linked on their bios.

    2. Ask for a 20 minute meeting with one of our Super Mentors.  Links to their LinkedIn profiles, their email addresses, expertise and images are located in the directory.  Please note they are doing this as volunteers and have each offered to speak with up to 4 of you a month.  So if you take too long, they might be all filled up!  Please put this in the subject of your email “VVM Accelerator, SuperMentor.”  


Interview 30-40 customers/key partners/industry experts to test your current hypotheses (as covered in this month’s presentation, see below).  Tips…

  1. Update your interview script so it is testing the hypotheses we’re focusing on in March (how you get, keep, and grow customers) as well as any from last month that you still need to validate.  

    1. One great way to do this is to update your business model canvas to reflect all that you have learned so far.  Strike out invalidated hypotheses, mark validated hypotheses so you know you can move on, and add/update the remaining hypotheses to reflect what you’ve learned.

  2. Remember to populate your Call List/CRM with lots of leads.  Now that you have a strong peer network, don’t hesitate to ask (nicely) for referrals from them… or even to interview them directly if they are a potential customer.

  3. If you would like refreshers on interviewing tips, check last month’s pre-work for videos and reading.  As you master the basics, reviewing these materials help you with more advanced techniques you heard but might not have been ready for the 1st time around.

  4. Sample questions to consider: 

    1. For GETTING customers: What is a new product/service you have purchased lately?  How did you hear about it?  What made you decide to purchase it?  Where did you get it / how was it delivered / did the service provider come in person, remote or other?  Is this your preferred way to get products/services?  

    2. For KEEPING customers:  I imagine there are a lot of competitors to [product/service that they use that isn’t yours], why don’t you switch?  What keeps you with [product/service]?  How do you interact with the company that makes [product/service]?  What do you like/dislike about their customer service?  The last time you “fired” a vendor, why did you do it?

    3. For GROWING customers: Have you ever purchased any upgrades for products/services you/your company use? How did you learn of these upgrades? What convinced you to upgrade? Have you been happy with the upgrade? Do you ever get (or give) recommendations on products/services to your peers in your company or in similar companies? How do you do it? How do you thank people that recommend things to you? Has [competitor/someone else that sells to your customer] ever provided incentives for referrals? Which ones worked, which ones didn’t?


  1. Update your elevator pitch.  You get 1 minute during speed dating, so feel free to continue to use the
    30-second elevator pitch template if you like it and expand on it.

  2. Prepare your Peer Percolate Presentation. This is a presentation, with slides, focusing on how your company will get, keep, and grow customers.  You will deliver this presentation, live, to a subset of your peers on Saturday of the bootcamp weekend. One-third of you will also deliver this same presentation to a panel of judges during our practice judging session on Saturday.

    Peer Percolate Presentation Requirements:

    1. No more than eight (8) minutes long. 

    2. Google Presentation format.

    3. The file name must be named {MyCompanyName}_March.  

    4. The rest of your presentation MUST cover all the topics covered in the March Peer Percolate Presentation template.  It is strongly recommended (but not required) that you present them in the same order and with roughly the same time allotments as the template as well.  

    5. You must deliver your final version of your presentation into your herd’s sub-folder by Thursday, March 21st at 8:30 AM.

    Presentation Tips:

    1. You will notice you have to repeat and condense key components (Customer, Value Proposition, Competitive Advantage) from your last month’s presentation in half the time to make room for Get, Keep and Grow your customers in your 8 minute pitch.

    2. Check your peer percolate feedback from last month here.

    3. Presented in front of judges last month? Check out their feedback here.


Prepare for MasterMind.  Prepare an informal presentation (no slides) for your day three MasterMind group that:

  1. Thanks everyone in the herd who helped you over the past month by name & need. Review last month’s goals, and whether you reached it or not, and why.

  2. Shares the most important goal you wish to complete by the next bootcamp.

  3. Outlines the steps you are planning to take to address it.

  4. Asks the group to keep them accountable to reach the next goal.


Optional reading/watching/listening that will give you strong insights into this month’s bootcamp.

  1. Some great content on GAN insights portal on Marketing for startups.

    1. Inbound Marketing with Dharmesh Shah, Founder of HubSpot (54 min video)

    2. Guerrilla Marketing With John Greathouse, (49 min video)

  2. If you would like some quick marketing tips:

    1. Podcast Episodes:

      1. Unbounce’s Oli Gardner on Building Startup Landing Pages That Convert [Traction #22]

      2. Upserve CEO Angus Davis on How Startups Sell to Main Street

      3. Contently CEO on Working with Big Brands as a Startup [Traction #20: Joe Coleman]

      4. How Location-Based Startups Gain Traction City-by-City [Traction #16]

      5. How Hardware Startups Gain Initial Traction [Episode #14: Ben Einstein]


Use the Slack channel (#homework) for any questions, your cohort is happy to help!

Here’s an easy to use guide to all the links on the page