Unfortunately, not all who chase their passions will find a perfectly overlapping market need.
There’s a tension brewing in the startup world that I think needs to be brought to light. Most founders who take the time to blog or write will at some point share the following advice, “You must follow your passion. Startups are so hard that if you’re not passionate about your mission, there’s no way you’ll succeed.” At the same time, the lean startup movement has entrepreneurs everywhere “building, measuring and learning” what the market wants, to find the illusive product-market fit. But what happens when what the market wants is not what you’re passionate about?
Dave goes on to say:
As if starting a company isn’t hard enough, I recommend you make it even harder — don’t settle for what you’ve discovered the market wants if it doesn’t intersect with what you and your team are passionate about doing. Keep iterating. Think of it as an investment in your future energy and in the long-term potential of your company. Only when you’ve created a product that your team is passionate about and meets the needs of a large market should you move ahead and scale the company. Do not stop at product-market fit, make sure you find product-team-market fit. From there, you’ll find the journey toward scaling a large, successful business more energizing and fun, and your chances of making it through the challenges and speed bumps that lie ahead will increase exponentially. The most important, and most scarce, ingredient to startup success is human energy. Building a product that your team is passionate about will leverage that scarcest of resource, maximize your chances of success, and enrich your life.