Having worked with different startups, my experience tells me that every single founder tries to fit their product to market needs. This sounds brilliant, right?
Well, i think, in some cases, yes. Why in some cases? Lets assume you have an idea, did some research and found out that there is already an established competitor. Now, would you give up? High likely (yes, a startup founder never gives up, because there is a challenge, but lets assume your competitor is a real giant and literally hard to beat). Because your competitor has resources, they already dominate etc. But, the product is there, “they created the market” and there is demand for the product.
Now, i am not saying that your idea fits the market, because the market is already there. Now, all you have to think about is how you can alter the market and fit them to your product.
It is also possible that your idea is unique and there is no competitor yet. Now, you will do market research, understand people behaviour and shape your product accordingly. This approach sound unfortunately literally boring to me. I think this is the old way of doing things. You come up with an idea and you just try to change it based on others thinking. No, please no. Yes, change the design, improve the usability. But as long as you are introducing a new way of doing things, market will fit yourself into your product one way or the other.
Lets take a look at the market and start with big names. Instagram? Did we really need a feed of images? No, but eventually, we liked the idea.
Snapchat, same story as instagram.
LinkedIn, imho, is a great idea.
Slack? Whatsapp? etc. etc.
There are obvious problems out there and the problems even us human beings did not know we had before. Fitting the market into the product is exactly the second one. Finding problems people never know about is the most creative thing that can be done. Since nobody was aware of it before, there would be no competition, but lots of possibilities to expand.
Of course, this is the product side of the things. Your idea can become a sensation, but monetization is something else and the topic of another post.