šŸ„§ Pie Mail - Product Market Pie

publishedabout 1 month ago
4 min read


Greetings one and all, It's pie-mail time again!

Hope you're all doing well. It's been a busy couple of weeks for me, I've been trying to participate in the 30 days of tools challenge over at Ministry of Testing. (I'm up to day 13 of 18... I expected to fall behind, I think I'm doing quite well really!)

There's no rules on this thing, so feel free to jump in and do some of the challenges, or check out some of the interesting answers from other people.

I've also been interviewing candidates for roles, and trying to refresh myself on how React works... and those two things are the source for this weeks content!

Oh, and I finally got my second COVID vaccine too. One less thing to worry about!

Enjoy, and as always, let me know if you have questions or comments.


šŸŽ“ Product Market Fit šŸŽ“


I was part of an interview with a candidate for a Product Manager role last week.

During the interview, the subject of "Product Market Fit" came up - I don't remember in what context. But what the candidate said after that, really bothered me. It was this:

"Oh, I've never heard a tester talk about Product Market Fit before"

Ouch. Really? To me, a good tester should know the Product Market Fit of the product they're working on. And, they should talk about it!

Product Market Fit, according to WikiPedia, is the degree to which a product satisfies a strong market demand. In other words, what industry niche does it serve, what problems does it solve?

For some companies this has been obvious from the beginning, for some, they find their Product Market Fit as they go, and others have not yet found it.

Here are some examples from companies I've worked at:

  • ā€‹Xero is an accounting product for businesses. Their market is specifically small businesses, and accounting practices that serves small businesses.


  • ā€‹Pushpay is a payment product for churches. Not just churches, specifically large churches based in the United States. This is a company that established their Product Market Fit over time - it started as an app for buying coffee!


  • ā€‹UneeQ is a company that you'd describe as Pre-Product Market Fit - they have a great piece of technology that needs to find a suitable market. I'd recommend everyone should try working for a company at this stage, at least once in their career!


  • ā€‹Fergus, my current company, is a business tool for tradespeople - our target market is small businesses, with a focus on plumbers and electricians.


Product Market Fit doesn't mean that you can't serve other customers though. At Fergus, we don't just have plumbers and electricians as customers - there are roofers and builders too. Pushpay don't exclusively serve large churches, some of their customers are very small churches too. Product Market Fit is more like an indicator of where your 'bread and butter' comes from.


Knowing your Product Market Fit helps you better target your testing towards your users. It also helps give some direction when engaging with devs, product managers, and other members of your team.



What is the Product Market Fit of the product you're working on? Or, are you working for a company that hasn't established that yet? Important question to be able to answer, I would love to hear from you!

*I don't really expect you to do homework unless you're someone I am coaching, or have done coaching with... in which case, I 100% expect you to reply to this question!


āœØ Some interesting links āœØ

Transitional Apps

I like this talk from Rich Harris from JAMStackConf. It gets a bit technical - but - I want to share it because there's some really great content about 'single page apps' versus 'multi page apps'. I think it's important for testers to know what these terms mean, and what the advantages and disadvantages of these different models are.


The Facebook Outage

You know the one. Here's Facebook's write up on it. I think the really interesting part is that the outage meant engineers could not access the buildings. An interesting lesson to learn!


Monitoring and Observability

ā€‹Dr. McKayla interviews Charity Majors on, well, a bunch of stuff. Testing, staging environments, ownership, management... there's something for everyone in this one. Great content.


Slow Down to Speed Up

One of the toughest challenges I find in testing is encouraging teams to go slower. I believe slower in the short term, will help you go further in the long term. Building software is a marathon, not a sprint (insert scrum joke, heh heh).
John Cutler writes about it better than I can.


The Economics of CloudFlare R2

Corey Quinn is always a great read on cloud economics, and he's worth following. In this post, he goes in depth on CloudFlares new R2 storage service, a competitor to Amazon's S3. Really interesting reading!


The Agile Testing Chat Sheet

I frequently get asked for resources to help with 'test ideas'. Janet Gregory and Lisa Crispin have a cheat sheet for this, and they've just released an updated version of it. I think it's intentionally called a 'chat sheet' because it's supposed to generate conversation. Print it out, share it with your team, and stick it on your office wall!


šŸ§© Puzzle time šŸ§©

This one might be a little bit niche.

I've been refreshing myself on React in my spare time, and bumped my head against a silly issue this week.

ā€‹Check out this CodePen.

There are three buttons. When ever you click one, it should log to the browser console the name of the button that is clicked.

Instead though, it logs when the page renders, and then never again.

Here is the relevant code - can you figure out what mistake I've made?


ā€‹The answer can be found here.

šŸŽŖ Events coming up šŸŽŖ

Metrics: An Ongoing Retrospective (Oct 20)

I mentioned this last time, but it's worth another shout. Akshay Sud is going to present all about metrics, and how to use them to continually improve what you're doing. Definitely worth attending!


Obviously Awesome: Using Strategic Positioning to Unlock Growth in Noisy Markets (Oct 27)

Possibly going for 'longest meetup talk title ever' award, ProductTank (Auckland and Wellington) are hosting April Dunford to talk all about market positioning, and now to make great products succeed.


Visual Testing Workshop (Nov 3)

Ministry of Testing Auckland are bringing you this hands on workshop, teaching how to do visual testing using Applitools.

The link says 'bring your laptop', but I'm pretty sure this one is virtual.

šŸ‘‹ Thanks for reading! šŸ‘‹

Have a great week and will see you in the next one! I mentioned last time, we were supposed to be relocating, but it got pushed back to next weekend... so hopefully I'll be emailing you from a new city by next time!

Take care, and reach out to me any time on LinkedIn or Twitter.


James a.k.a. JPie šŸ„§


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