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April 26, 2023
This week, we’re sharing the next installment in our new series on the winding path to product-market fit.

Kubecost’s Path to Product-Market Fit — How the Co-Founders Validated Their Idea with 100 Customer Conversations

Today, we’re excited to share the latest installment in our Paths to Product-Market Fit series, featuring Kubecost’s Webb Brown.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the series, it’s an exploration of how founders across all company sizes and industries got to product-market fit. First Round’s own Todd Jackson leads these conversations and dives deep into the moments — big and small — that helped those startups get to where they are today.

In our latest post with Brown, he shares how he and his co-founder adopted an unconventional approach to validate their startup idea. From building (and launching) an MVP over a single weekend to talking to over 100 potential customers, Brown lays out all the steps they took to ensure they were on the path to product-market fit.

You can check the zoomed-out version of Kubecost’s path to product-market fit in the timeline visual above. Here’s a preview of some other topics that Brown hits on in the story:

  • Why he and his co-founder initially adopted a project-oriented mindset when building Kubecost. “It was really important for us to give ourselves the mental freedom to say, no, sorry, we've got this wrong.”
  • The benefits of launching an MVP over a weekend. “Most people thought we were crazy, but we were focused on answering questions like, what is the problem? Do people care? Are people willing to engage? We didn’t need 120 features to answer those.”
  • How they knew Kubecost was a painkiller, not a vitamin. “A bunch of them were willing to install our MVP and were already making feature requests. It just felt like we were being pulled in by these people, rather than us pushing our solution onto them.”

We would love to hear what you think about this series so far — feel free to reply to this email with any thoughts (or fill out the handy survey at the bottom of this email.)

Thanks, as always, for reading and sharing.

-The Review Editors

Take me to The Review

Recommended resources:

-The pocket guide to essential startup advice from YC

-Lenny Rachitsky on the parallels between jury duty and product management.

-Try the trident method for time management.

-Coming to LA Tech Week? Join us for a fireside chat with GOAT founder/CEO Eddy Lu on the startup’s path to product-market fit.

Refer a founder to First Round

Here at First Round, we are always looking for rockstar founders working on the next great startup idea to add to our amazing community of entrepreneurs. Do you know someone who's a tenacious builder that plans to start something new? Or have you come across an early-stage startup working on something that really excites you? We want to get to know them! Nominate them to our team here.

Trending this week — Review Reads:

The Silent Killer of Your Operating Practice: Fear
Amanda Schwartz Ramirez, former PayPal strategy leader and now COO advisor for startups, shares the 5 biggest fears that can derail your company's strategic planning sessions (and tactical advice for avoiding them).
The Rounds’ Path to Product-Market Fit: Accelerating the Eco-Friendly Delivery Startup through Gut Intuition
The Rounds’ founder Alex Torrey tells the story of how he came up with the idea for his eco-friendly delivery service, and what signals guided him along the way that he was approaching product-market fit.
How to Become Insanely Well-Connected
Chris Fralic is a world-class super-connector. Here's how the long-time First Round Partner has methodically built bonds spanning years and careers, with tactical advice for other folks to follow.
Growth at All Costs is Perilous — This is How to Scale Sales Sustainably
Many founders feel the pressure to spin up sales quickly to hit growth targets, but seasoned sales leader Karen Rhorer shares how to scale sales hiring the right way.

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