Product-Market Fit vs. Doing Your Thing

There is a question that I have been asking myself for many years, one that is most commonly asked in business, but applies to other fields as well: Should you try to find out about the needs of the market and cater towards these needs? Or should you follow your personal inclinations, hoping there will be a market for those inclinations eventually?

Or the short version: Give the market what it wants vs. shape the market around you.

I have answered this question differently at different times of my life. When I first became self-employed, I was strongly leaning towards the product-market fit option, i.e. give the market what it wants. For example, I purposefully converted my pure Brazilian Jiu Jitsu gym I was running at the time to a Mixed Martial Arts gym – based on the prediction that in a few years, MMA would be all the hype here in Germany, just like back in the States.

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