What is your product fix?

Image for post

It relates the central crux of the arguments you see online to specific “marketing”- how do you separate the wheat from the chaff? Companies rely on professional “spinners”; journals on their “star writers and randomised phase III trials”, conferences on their “late-breaking abstracts” that come in much delayed after the deadlines are over for rest of us. Each one of them is to “showcase” or create “talking points” around the noise.

Here’s a somewhat vague explanation of what “product fit” is:

Product market fit is a funny term, but here’s a concrete way to think about it. When people understand and use your product enough to recognize it’s value that’s a huge win. But when they begin to share their positive experience with others, when you can replicate the experience with every new user who your existing users tell, then you have product market fit on your hands. And when this occurs something magical happens. All of a sudden your customers become your salespeople.

While writing the blog straight from the heart, I reflect frequently- why do we do what we do? What can we do to do the same things differently? What can we do to make it more efficient?

Can we do it differently? Therefore, what is the product fit for this blog?

It transpires that there are different levels of motivation to pursue goals (one that would get us to believe that we have achieved something). It could be academic (where they measure by the size of the grants you have been able to snag) or personal wealth (judged by the likes or the hearts from Facebook feeds or Instagram). People prefer to get adjudged by the lenses of others instead of their own perspectives.

As a clinician, it is imperative to be empathic. I am forced to balance the twin commitments of protecting my time towards the primary duty to “alleviate” the suffering of the humanity. I have pushed out the argument about using technology to address the pain issues, but I run into the wall repeatedly because there is a cost function involved. Everyone wants a “minimal friction” experience- why interact with a chatbot when you can call up the physician directly?

Are we advertising our availability as a marketing hook?

Likewise, I have heard (and read) about the overtly excessive bureaucratic systems related to healthcare delivery. Excessive out-of-pocket payments are the norm- it only reflects the layers of people (regulatory/compliance) that are mandated by the policy makers. If a “start-up” wants to take a stab at the prevailing issues- how do they convince the administrators to open up their cheque books, which again is tacitly admits the fact that the processes are broken in the first place?

This image is telling:

Safety standards of the 1960s… an arm across your chest is good enough..

The older generation in my Twitter stream often reflects on the times gone by. I read their argument and thoughts because it is essential to be aware of where we have come from and how we grew. For them, a new medium (social media) has been a tremendous leap of faith. They shifted their focus from previous had written letters to instant emails and now complete democratisation of the public discourse. For them, it is revelatory. For most of us, TikTok is what Twitter was for my elder peers. I understand the complexities involved in constant streaming, but I also understand the massive privacy tradeoffs because I don’t own the medium or the social connections.

So, what is the perfect “good fit”? The answer- nothing. It all depends on the shifting sands of time, motivations, ideas, and how we respond to external events (or choose to respond). Some of my peers have been privileged to have a system that nurtures “talent” and move up the ladder as “directors of social diversity” or whatever the unseen committees decide to bestow on them. Most of us, in rest of the world, are fighting to stay relevant in the product fit.