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There's an argument that your Stage 1 and Stage 2 are the wrong way round.

It's often easier to genuinely solve a problem for a few customers before you know how to describe the problem you've solved in a way that will attract or engage new customers. Like Snapchat's disappearing messages, Segment's first analytics code snippet, Slack's "we don't sell saddles here", Twitch's video streaming etc. They all had customers who really liked them before they really worked out why that was and how to package up that messaging.

Essentially you let your early customers help you figure out the "Problem - Market Fit".

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I don’t think that’s in disagreement with this; as absolutely you use early customers to figure out Problem - Market fit.

These examples used something that seemed to be solving a problem for a random group of users and then went back to Stage 1 to figure out why that was, refine the message and figure out what they needed to build to drive more retention and engagement. For them, there’s no point in building new features to drive retention if they don’t know why customers used them in the first place.

There’s probably a Stage 0 which is figure out the problem you’re solving - which can occur either pre or post product; and pre- or post-pivot as you talk to more customers.

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