Building a product is not the same as playing chess. An egomaniac tried to impress upon me that I should be like him, to engage my brain before diving headfirst into building my next business. He is not worth talking about.

Instead, I will like to propose my stance on chess and product building: Founders seeking product-market fit do not have the luxury to plan steps, like in a chess game.

The ingredients for Product-Market Fit is not intellect

It is timing, luck, and being attuned to a particular niche that has you understanding something that nobody else has understood. You do not plan for that. You dig your way to product-market fit.

The obvious examples are obvious.

  • Grab did not start like a chess genius planning to be a "super-app." They started out trying to be Uber for Southeast Asia.
  • Google did not start out trying to be an advertising giant. They started as PHDs working to build a better search engine with their new-found PageRank algorithm.

What counterexamples do you know of that started with this huge manifesto and got big by executing on it to the tee?

Chess-like planning is for post-product-market fit

You find the niche. Prove that people want it. Then you release the S3XY. S3XY is Tesla's plan to dominate the market. A plan released after Tesla found it's product-market fit with the Tesla Roadster.

Product building lets you find a ground to stand on.

Market domination requires another approach, which probably requires chess-like planning and great execution - that I agree.

This is why I avoid property, insuretech, fintech and B2B

In my experience with my previous projects, I have to realize what I am good at, and what I am bad at. With NuMoney, I realized I am terrible with regulatory compliance.

With SilvrBullet, I figured that I suck at B2B sales.

With everything else, I discovered that I have a healthy niche in products with a pure software play. And this niche is where I think I will stay for my predictable future.