In the business world, the more customers you have, the more opportunities you get to achieve massive growth.

But unfortunately, many startups fail to attract enough customers before they run out of money. And it is what Gabriel Weinberg, the founder of search engine DuckDuckGo, addresses in his book “Traction.”

Gabriel sheds light on an entirely new and results-driven way for businesses to think about different phases of growth.

To achieve success, a startup must be able to grow exponentially. Therefore, Traction is measurable evidence of customer demand.

Depending on the goals and nature of your business, it could be the total number of email subscribers, app downloads, marketing leads, sales transaction, etc.

Traction helps you understand how effectively your company is progressing and makes it easier to grab the attention of investors, partners, and skilled individuals.

Traction Thinking & Frameworks

Any business that is eager to experience tremendous success, it needs to achieve three things: a viable product/service, a promising market, and a fantastic way to reach customers. In traction, Gabriel emphasizes on spending 50% of your time on product development and 50% on traction development, adopt the Bullseye framework to test different channels and find the best one, then implement the Critical Path framework to shift your focus on resources that matter the most.

Let’s take a closer look at the Traction Thinking more deeply.

The 50% Rule:

The biggest mistake often made by many startups is that they spend the majority of their time/resources developing and refining their product. When they actually realize that they need to get more customers and try to uplift their sales/marketing efforts, they run out of money.

According to Gabriel, it is definitely not the way to achieve success.

While developing your product, you should also test your traction channels, spending 50% of your time on product and 50% on traction.

Incorporating this rule allows you to get realistic feedback from the market, which helps in refining your product and building a solid customer base for unparalleled growth.

The Bullseye Framework:

It is merely impossible to predict which traction channel will work best for you. The only way you can do so is by testing each channel.

Bullseye is a framework that assists you in identifying the most appropriate channel your startup should pay attention to.

In Traction, Gabriel explains on how to work through the three rings: to have a deep understanding of what is possible, then run various small strategic tests to find some workable channels, and once you have identified the promising channels, run the Bullseye to finalize the most suitable one for your startup.

The Critical Path Framework:

When you are working so hard to strengthen your startup, you often come across several opportunities and deciding which one to pursue turns out to be difficult.

The Critical Path makes it easier and shows what is important and where you should focus more to drive results. Your business must define what traction means to it, set a traction goal and milestones that are good enough to reach that goal, and stick to the Critical Path.

A glimpse into the Key Traction Channels:

  • Targeting Blogs
  • Publicity/PR
  • Unconventional PR
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Social & Display Ads
  • Offline Ads
  • Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
  • Content Marketing
  • Email Marketing
  • Viral Marketing
  • Engineering as Marketing
  • Business Development (BD)
  • Sales
  • Affiliate Programs
  • Existing Platforms
  • Trade Shows
  • Offline Events
  • Speaking Engagements
  • Community Building

That’s it.

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