AngelList, Calendly and Reddit hone product market fit at Disrupt

·4 min read

Finding product market fit (PMF), a crucial yet elusive startup milestone, can be one of the biggest challenges for early-stage founders. Crucial because it shows you, and potential investors, that people want your product. Elusive because, for starters, everyone defines it differently.

If customers are ripping products out of your hands, congratulations — you have PMF. But that definition does not necessarily apply to every startup’s product or service. Murky PMF definitions muddy challenging waters, but things become even more interesting during a changing market.

Getting PMF right determines the future growth and profitability of your startup, which is why we’re thrilled to have Pali Bhat, chief product officer at Reddit; Annie Pearl, CPO at Calendly; and Avlok Kohli, CEO at AngelList join us onstage at TechCrunch Disrupt on October 18–20 in San Francisco.

When startups have access to greater (and cheaper) amounts of VC cash — as they did last year — they can afford to spend more. What might look like PMF could be an illusion driven by a huge sales and marketing spend.

A downturn will likely tighten PMF definitions, making it an even more important milestone. Startups with products attuned to — and in demand from — their customers, don’t need a lot of capital to grow.

Our panelists will discuss the challenges of finding PMF and help founders hone their definitions. We'll also ask how to measure PMF in a more difficult market, and what founders should consider from both a fundraising and customer perspective. We consider this a must-see session for early-stage founders.

Before joining Reddit as the company’s first chief product officer, Pali Bhat held senior leadership roles at Google for more than 10 years. He recently led a team of nearly 1,000 engineers, product managers, user experience designers and researchers across a high-growth product suite.

Bhat was also the vice president of product management and led Google’s payment products globally. Prior to Google, Bhat held leadership positions at SAP Labs and McKinsey & Company.

Annie Pearl brings nearly 15 years of startup and enterprise experience to her role as chief product officer at Calendly, where she oversees the company’s product vision, strategy and roadmap. She leads and scales the product management and UX teams to deliver best-in-class scheduling experiences for customers.

Prior to Calendly, Pearl served as CPO at Glassdoor and oversaw the product, UX and content moderation teams. Before that, she led enterprise product management teams at Box — both before and after the company’s IPO. Earlier in her career, Pearl was the VP of product and a founding member of Xpert Financial. She is a board member of WorkRamp, Well Health and holds several advisory roles.

Avlok Kohli is the CEO of AngelList. Prior to joining AngelList, Kohli founded and sold two companies — FastBite, a food delivery company (acquired by Square), and Fairy, a provider of high-frequency house-cleaning services.

TechCrunch Disrupt takes place in San Francisco on October 18–20 with an online day October 21. Take advantage of our early-bird rollback sale and save up to $1,300 over full-price admission. Buy your Labor Day early-bird passes before the deadline expires Tuesday, September 6 at 11:59 p.m. PDT.

( function() { var func = function() { var iframe = document.getElementById('wpcom-iframe-088e45f6eab558a21a147cdc3ae12365') if ( iframe ) { iframe.onload = function() { iframe.contentWindow.postMessage( { 'msg_type': 'poll_size', 'frame_id': 'wpcom-iframe-088e45f6eab558a21a147cdc3ae12365' }, "https:\/\/tcprotectedembed.com" ); } } // Autosize iframe var funcSizeResponse = function( e ) { var origin = document.createElement( 'a' ); origin.href = e.origin; // Verify message origin if ( 'tcprotectedembed.com' !== origin.host ) return; // Verify message is in a format we expect if ( 'object' !== typeof e.data || undefined === e.data.msg_type ) return; switch ( e.data.msg_type ) { case 'poll_size:response': var iframe = document.getElementById( e.data._request.frame_id ); if ( iframe && '' === iframe.width ) iframe.width = '100%'; if ( iframe && '' === iframe.height ) iframe.height = parseInt( e.data.height ); return; default: return; } } if ( 'function' === typeof window.addEventListener ) { window.addEventListener( 'message', funcSizeResponse, false ); } else if ( 'function' === typeof window.attachEvent ) { window.attachEvent( 'onmessage', funcSizeResponse ); } } if (document.readyState === 'complete') { func.apply(); /* compat for infinite scroll */ } else if ( document.addEventListener ) { document.addEventListener( 'DOMContentLoaded', func, false ); } else if ( document.attachEvent ) { document.attachEvent( 'onreadystatechange', func ); } } )();