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Just launch a free trial?

about 2 years ago 3 mins read
Adam Schoenfeld
Adam Schoenfeld

Welcome to the 561 new members, and welcome back to the 2289 OGs.

This is your almost-weekly PeerSignal newsletter where I share research, data, and examples from our PLG and B2B Growth indexes.* Explore datasets here ⛏🤓.


Lots of B2B companies want to be product-led.

78% of my friends think this will be a hard transition:

Seeing all the PLG success stories, some B2B CEOs will call their team to *"just launch a free trial!"*

But any kind of bolt on misses the point.

The bigger lesson is about strategic fit.

Top PLG companies have mutually reinforcing activities *between* product and GTM, and *within* their go-to-market strategy.

Take Webflow as an example.

Last week I was talking about templates and Webflow co-founder, Bryan Chou, shared these two amazing numbers:


Some creators make ~$500K on the platform


Templates in their community bring 10s of thousands of organic signups each month.

Imagine you are one of those people making tons of cash on Webflow.

You'd probably never leave and you'd probably become a lifelong evangelist.

That's a serious moat.

Webflow didn't build this moat by offering a free trial.

They built this moat because they coordinated investments in community, product experience, platform, and distribution.

If you like Jim Collins, you'd say they're building a flywheel.

If you like Michael Porter, you'd say they have mutually reinforcing activities with strategic "fit." If you like Charlie Munger, you'd think about how they build moats.

Regardless of your favorite business books, the top PLG companies are incredible case studies.

Good news: This strategic fit doesn't require all new go-to-market ideas.

Many of the things we see fueling product-led success have been around for decades.

* ​Free/freemium isn't new.

* ​Template libraries - not new.

* ​Community strategies - not new.

* ​B2B brand building - not new.

* Usage based pricing.

Same story.

But the best PLG companies put the pieces together in more compelling ways and take these ideas farther.

That's the fun part about studying this movement.

And I think the lessons apply no matter where you land on the product-led to sales-led spectrum.

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