GTM Fit with Brian Tinker, CEO of Mobileiron

GTM Fit Definition

I was pointed to an Andreessen Horowitz podcast series by Josh Yang last week and one of the things that stood out was the idea of GTM Fit. The principal idea is that there is a stage in a company lifecycle that occurs after product/market fit where the sales model / GTM model has to align with the way that the buyers/decision makers of the product actually purchase the product. The chief Evangelist of this idea is a man named Brian Tinker who is the CEO of MobileIron, which coincidentally is the place that most of our sales team comes from at Signal Sciences. He’s wrote a book along with Tae Hae Naem from Storm Ventures on the topic and created a GTM Summit to discuss it.

Company Lifecycle hinges on GTM Fit

The thesis behind the concept is that product/market fit isn’t enough for company success. To succeed, a company has to continue evolving and growing through various stages of the lifecycle.

How to find GTM Fit

How to Define it

Tinker suggests that GTM Fit is comprised of 3 parts:

  • Why Buy Now?- the reason customers are actually interested in buying your product right now. Tinker uses the MobileIron case study, where their product was actually built to be an entire MDM security platform, but customers only cared about it because they didn’t know how to manage iPhones. He also suggests that this detail is best defined by sales who is actually talking to customers, which is a valid point. He also suggests that this reason is completely unrelated to level of effort, i.e. that super tough feature you’re working hard to build may not be that interesting. It’s important for PMs to constantly test and validate assumptions about what customers actually care about.
  • GTM Model – I found this helpful as well. Tinker suggests a spectrum of GTM models ranging from Sales Led -> marketing led -> Product led.
How to Pick Em
  • But the main point is that implementing any of them just about technical capabilities, it’s about alignment with sales/marketing/product as well as the organizational capabilities to execute the different types of models. For this reason, a company can only execute one of these at a time because of the resources required.
Need an end to end journey map and strategy to execute correctly
  • Playbook –, institutionalizing all of these micro decisions into an easy, documented, scalable playbook that any new person can pick up and start using within a few months is the key to success. I’ve noticed that Sigsci has a playbook already defined and it seems very similar to the MobileIron playbook (not a surprise). What is missing is defined “Wow”s which is really key to unlocking results and will/should shape the roadmap for PMs.
WOWs! drives roadmap prioritization


I found this concept to be an extremely helpful framework to think about driving Growth strategy. Can’t wait to try out some of these concepts!