Startups Need Traction to Succeed

Last week I started reading the new book Traction: A Startup Guide to Getting Customers by Gabriel Weinberg. I had enjoyed reading Gabriel’s blog (read this post on money) and I’m always telling entrepreneurs that repeatedly acquiring customers is much more difficult than building a working product. Early on, the author sets the tone that entrepreneurs should spend 50% of their time on acquiring customers, which is foreign to most entrepreneurs as they want to focus the vast majority of their time on the product (a good product is required but revenue pays the bills).

The book sets up a methodology for constantly trying different customer acquisition strategies (the Bullseye Framework) and covers 19 different channels, each with its own chapter (e.g. PR, SEM, SEO, email marketing, trade shows, etc). The Bullseye Framework, while simple, provides a process that’s easy for entrepreneurs to follow. Here are the five steps:

  1. Brainstorm
  2. Rank
  3. Prioritize
  4. Test
  5. Focusing

The general idea is to come up with a bunch of ideas, rank the laundry list, prioritize a select few, test some campaigns, and double down on the winners. Over time, most winners have diminishing marginal returns and it’s time to run the process again.

Entrepreneurs that need more customers would do well to read the book and spend more time figuring out how to acquire customers.

What else? What are some other thoughts on the new Traction book?

One thought on “Startups Need Traction to Succeed

  1. Thanks David, I couldn’t agree more. I’ve learned this the hard way… more than once. I’ve got a great service and I’m 60% focused on acquiring new customers, 30% on current customers, and 10% on everything else.

    The reviews for this book on Amazon are as strong as I’ve seen in a long time. I’m ordering the Traction book immediately and will read it this weekend so I can start applying it next week.

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