Understand the importance of finding the right product and market fit with key takeaways to help other organizations in this space look for suitable product/market fits.
The third annual What’s Next Longevity Business Academy began this month, running from April 5th through May 10th, with discussions and presentations by experts that offer comprehensive learning for those involved in the $9 trillion longevity economy.
The academy consists of six weeks of business classes on:
- Building a Brand for Your Company and Telling Your Story
- The Longevity Marketplace: A 360-Degree View
- Finding Product/Market Fit With the Right Partner
- Best Practices in Working With Incubators and Accelerators
- Creating a Revenue Pipeline with Senior Housing Sales
- Accessing Government Programs and Support
All culminating in the What’s Next Longevity Venture Summit from June 6th-8th.
This week’s session hosted by Mary Furlong and Fred Fiskin included insights from key players in the longevity economy speaking on pilot projects and the methods used to find product/market fit with the right partner.
While all the speakers spoke about the importance of finding the right product and market fit, each of them had key takeaways to help other organizations in this space look for suitable product/market fits.
Paul Stich the CEO of Countable, a platform that helps build communities for a variety of organizations kicked off the session. He spoke about his experience in this area and as a professor teaching entrepreneurship.
Some of his key points were:
- You can’t do everything. Pick and choose.
- Sales cycles vary by industry and the maturity of the space. If these aren’t well-developed sales may take quite some time, especially if you’re innovating in a space.
- Make sure you are doing the right thing for the right people for the right reasons.
- Balance your product roadmap and priorities with your limited resources.
- He also highly recommends Sam Altmans’ book - Startup Playbook.
He highlighted three key takeaways from it.
- Make sure you have a great product - without it you won’t be successful.
- Engage with customers often and early - stay close to your clients.
- Constantly improve.
Jeff Clark the Community Living Section Manager from the Wyoming Department of Health in the Aging Division was looking to bridge the digital divide, help decrease social isolation, and create more equity for people in rural areas. He worked with Lawrence Kosick the Co-founder of GetSetUp, an interactive social learning platform for older adults, to make his virtual learning platform available to Wyoming’s older adults in order to empower them to learn, share, and thrive.
Some of their key points were:
- Do the research on your partner - understand the strategy and find a person to champion the partnership.
- Learn the business so you can interact on key ideas and build trust.
- Customize your offering to the needs of your partner: make it applicable, specific, and unique.
- Offer communication that is open and not too pushy (be warm and welcoming despite hurdles).
- Problem-solve together.
- Figure out how to be a must-have solution to a problem and not just a nice-to-have feature.
Lisa Taylor the CEO of iN2L works with resident engagement and started to work as a preferred provider with Courtney Baldridge the Corporate Strategist of USAging, the umbrella agency linking 620 area agencies on aging across the US, created to meet the needs of the Older Americans Act. Together they are working to solve some of the issues around social isolation for participating area agencies on aging.
Some of their key points were:
- Find experts in the area with a product and solution that fits.
- Assure a shared vision, mission, and value set.
- Define objectives and what constitutes a home run.
- Develop trust.
- Solve problems together - directly and quickly.
- Agree on what success looks like and how it will be measured.
These keys to the success of product and market fit are what define successful partnerships. Be sure to implement these tips and tools into your next joint venture!