Finding Your Product/Market Fit: One Founder’s Success Story

February 25, 2014

Nailing down the right product/market fit is a journey every company needs to embark on. Hear one success story from the founder of Kareo.

Even if you’ve got what you think is the greatest product or service known to man, if you can’t find the right product market fit, you won’t last long.
Not surprisingly, this need for establishing a business in the right market keeps many founders up at night. If you’re in need of a bedtime story with a happy ending, however, watch the video below to hear Kareo founder and CEO Dan Rodrigues explain how his company found its place in a sometimes-finicky healthcare market.

How Kareo Found Its Product/Market Fit

Note: The “Founders Corner” is exclusive content for OpenView’s newsletter subscribers. To watch the video and view more insights from the series, please fill out the form below. 
In the beginning, Rodrigues says Kareo entered its market in a very conventional way. But as the company began to grow its user base, Rodrigues says it began to see its niche. This knowledge allowed them to undertake a few experiments, which eventually lead to a deeper and wider customer base.

The Key Points

It’s not a bad idea to start off with conventional tactics [0:30]

Conventional marketing tactics exist for a reason — they work, if you use them in the right context.

“In the beginning, we used more of an enterprise sales model — we went to conferences, called physicians on the phone, and even used a little direct/email marketing,” Rodrigues explains. “That was very successful initially. But as there was more awareness of Kareo, we started seeing a lot of doctors come to us directly to sign up for our service.”

That shift ultimately changed Kareo’s go-to-market strategy, Rodrigues says.

After you garnered the initial customer base, start experimenting [0:50]

With more and more customers coming to Kareo directly, Rodrigues says the company started experimenting with its online presence and shifting to a model that marketed directly to doctors online.

“We found that we could reach them cost effectively, educate them about our product, get them through an online signup with a credit card, and once they were signed up they were able to get up and running very quickly,” Rodrigues says. “That’s when we knew it was the right product market fit for us. Everything came so easy with the model and, since we were optimized around the small practice, it was very easy for (those customers) to get started.”

More Insights on Finding Your Product/Market Fit

OpenView Founder Scott Maxwell on The Importance of Achieving Market Clarity
Your #1 priority when it comes to your go-to-market strategy is achieving market clarity. In this post, OpenView Founder Scott Maxwell Learn explains how to conduct an honest assessment and set your company on a course to achieve true market clarity.

WP Engine and SmartBear founder Jason Cohen on Leveraging Early Adopters to Narrow Your Product Market Fit
SmartBear founder Jason Cohen describes how his company shifted their product market fit once early adopters saw the true potential of its product.

Photo by: Yann

Founder & CEO

<strong>Dan Rodrigues</strong> is the founder and CEO of <a href="">Kareo</a> (disclosure: Kareo is an OpenView portfolio company). He founded the company in 2004 with a vision of simplifying medical offices with web-based medical billing software that replaces the expensive and complex medical billing and practice management systems. Prior to Kareo, he co-founded both software consulting firm Skematix and search engine Scour.