A product-market misfit

A couple of weeks ago I went through a bit of a depressed state because I realized Wuju wasn’t really working out. I wasn’t able to latch onto an audience or the right kind of clientele.

When I came out of it I decided that I needed to do a little bit more research about Product Market Fit because obviously I didn’t have it. I read a few articles, and an e-book about this and the most important takeaway for me was I needed to talk to my current customers and ask them this very specific question:

How disappointed would you be if you couldn’t use Wuju anymore?

I was going to use that to find the people who are using the app to its full potential then lean into that and make it amazing for them. That was the main takeaway from how to find PMF, and I was really excited.

I sent out some surveys and reached out to some people that I thought were using Wuju on a daily basis. Turns out they weren’t actually using Wuju on a daily basis. In fact very few people responded to my survey and out of those who did only two or three said they would be very disappointed if they couldn’t use it anymore.

Not only did I not have the amount of users I thought I did based on my rose-tinted interpretation of my usage statistics, the ones who were using it weren’t using it that much and definitely didn’t depend on it. I thought I had two or three dozen people using Wuju. Turned out I had maybe three or four people using it consistently outside of myself, my wife and my 7-year-old son.

This was another emotional slump, because not only don’t I have product market fit, I don’t even have enough users to figure out what that product market fit might be. And this is after spending a year on various forms of marketing and audience engagement and after having maybe like 2,500, maybe 3000 people try the app out.

So it’s not clicking. Obviously people are looking for a solution to their depression and anxiety, but , whatever I’m doing requires a level of awareness and experience with meditation and a kind of introspective ability and a level of personal responsibility and discipline that most people just don’t have.

So now I am back to square one or even square zero. And I have this understanding that while Wuju is is a really wonderful piece of tech when used correctly, it’s not a product, at least not a product that could be sold to anyone, yet.

In its current form it is a tool that requires lots and lots of skill to use and lots of discipline that most people just don’t have. And now I’m regretfully and painfully moving away from Wuju the product and the Wuju name.

I’m stil passionate about the realm of emotional wellbeing and mental growth and now I’m looking for a problem to solve that has a few attributes:

It’s a problem people know they have, which is different from a problem they don’t know they have. It’s a problem they already perceive as difficult and challenging and maybe even debilitating, or causing pain.

There’s a group of these people who talk to each other in some way, shape or form so it’s not just, you know, one person here, one person there, and the only way I can reach them is with massive ad campaigns. And ideally these people would have some baseline of introspective capability or experience.

And I’m trying my best to not come up with a solution before I identify a proper problem, which is much harder to do than I anticipated.

Follow me @finereli where I write about emotional intelligence and mental health.