Do large entreprise software companies ever achieve product/market fit?
PMarca’s definition of product/market fit goes like this:
You can always feel when product/market fit isn’t happening. The customers aren’t quite getting value out of the product, word of mouth isn’t spreading, usage isn’t growing that fast, press reviews are kind of “blah”, the sales cycle takes too long, and lots of deals never close.
And you can always feel product/market fit when it’s happening. The customers are buying the product just as fast as you can make it – or usage is growing just as fast as you can add more servers. Money from customers is piling up in your company checking account. You’re hiring sales and customer support staff as fast as you can. Reporters are calling because they’ve heard about your hot new thing and they want to talk to you about it. You start getting entrepreneur of the year awards from Harvard Business School. Investment bankers are staking out your house. You could eat free for a year at Buck’s.
But when I stop an think about it for a second, I can hardly think of an enterprise software company that has faced these conditions. May Slack and Box have, but they’re not really enterprise software companies. SAP, Oracle, ServiceNow, SuccessFactors: these guys are enterprise software companies, and I can hardly picture them “customers are buying the product just as fast as you can make it.” Actually, large, successful enterprise software companies inevitably face PMarca’s description of what product/market fit ISN’T:
“The customers aren’t quite getting value out of the product, word of mouth isn’t spreading, usage isn’t growing that fast, press reviews are kind of "blah”, the sales cycle takes too long, and lots of deals never close.“
I, for one, have never seen a happy SAP erp customer. Or SuccessFactors not having a super low conversion rate. That’s just how enterprise software goes. Right?