I’m not usually a fan of posts like this, but I just couldn’t resist clicking on Pink Floyd Were Masters At Achieving Product-Market Fit. The first of seven “lessons” is the one that stands out for me:
Obtain Customer Feedback Before You Release Your Product
Musicians spend their entire youth writing songs and performing them in front of live audiences, which ensures that their initial album is validated by their fans before they enter the recording studio.
Unfortunately, successful musicians seldom have the luxury of market testing their subsequent albums. Instead of refining their material based on customer feedback, they are often lock away in a recording studio, isolated from their fans. Thus, it is no surprise that many bands suffer the sophomore jinx, in which their second album fails to achieve the success of their initial release.
Pink Floyd recorded Dark Side of the Moon after a year of writing and performing the material in front of live audiences. This audience feedback allowed the band to iteratively modify their creation.
Lesson: Avoid the sophomore jinx with your product launches by continuing to seek market validation, despite your initial success.
I guess in the interest of full disclosure, I should admit that I wrote a post like this once: A story about Miles Davis and the nature of true genius.