You Can’t Create Good Market Fit, You Can Only Uncover It – Speaking with Fred Stevens Smith of Rainforest QA

It’s the 200th episode of The Scale Up Show!

Founder and CEO of Rainforest QA Fred Stevens Smith joins Ryan today to talk all about how he grew his business past 8 figures, how he paid the ultimate price for a mistake and what it means to pivot and completely rebuild your business!

The first 7 years of the business was around a different product before realising that what had been designed wouldn’t be sustainable. Fred and his team had to completely change their strategy, which included firing 2/3 of their team and design a new product.

You can’t get product market fit once you get hyper-growth. You become locked in. This is why Fred wanted to do something really radical.

Although the product and go to market was essentially wrong, Fred and his team learnt a lot and believed they could build something that actually solved problems in the market sustainably; this is what drove them to pivot.

Hyper growth can be a trap for some companies and Rainforest QA was almost one of them. Many companies get so focused on revenue that they aren’t working on their product enough and this is where disaster can strike.

There’s a very big disconnect between model building and company building, it’s easy to misunderstand that when you are a first-time founder.

Do not even think about raising funding against future revenue growth without first knowing you have product-market fit.

Most ideas and most start-ups fail because they don’t get to great market fit. You can’t create market fit you can only uncover it. At the end of the day it boils down to net-revenue retention.

QA is an ‘insanely broken industry’ according to Fred, which is why he was passionate about creating a solution that helped engineers.


 “I realised we were just going to be treading water here”

“They had insane hyper-market fit”

“You can’t really create great market fit you can just uncover it”

Do You Want The Closing Secrets That Helped Close Over $125 Million in New Business for Free?”  Grab them HERE:

Ryan Staley

Founder and CEO

Whale Boss




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