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Traction: A Startup Guide to Getting Customers

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  6,755 ratings  ·  341 reviews
Most startups end in failure.

Almost every failed startup has a product. What failed startups don't have are enough customers.

Founders and employees fail to spend time thinking about (and working on) traction in the same way they work on building a product. This shortsighted approach has startups trying random tactics - some ads, a blog post or two - in an unstructured way
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published August 26th 2014 by S-curve Publishing (first published August 23rd 2014)
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Average rating 4.16  · 
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 ·  6,755 ratings  ·  341 reviews

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Lucas Carlson
Oct 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Traction. Ah, just the sound of the word alone makes my spine tingle. Traction, it seems, can forgive all sins. With enough of it, investors will commit even if you haven’t figured out your team or how you will make money. So why is it that so many founders sit on their hands and just hope that their product takes off?

Ignorance. Most founders don’t know how to get traction for their startups and so they blindly double down on building a great product. They don’t know what investors mean when ask
Jan 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As a startup founder coming mainly from the technology side, I needed a good practical hands-on guide to go beyond the overwhelming number of generic sales and marketing books. The value in this book is that while we know the general principles of sales & marketing it’s great to have a resource that provides scope, structure and a methodology for identifying and testing the most impactful traction channels for a company – particularly a new start. I used the methodology internally within
Neil Soni
Sep 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
If you're looking a book with concrete traction tactics, this is the bible. Most books will give you some loose "advice" but this goes into granular detail in a way that's easy to understand for beginners but still super valuable to people who've been in the game for awhile. Awesome job Gabriel and Justin!
Preslav Rachev
If you've got one book to read about building startup growth, let it be this one. I started reading it together with Peter Thiel's "Zero to One", but found myself spending almost my entire time time going back in forth around "Traction". What I love about the book are the applicable tips and advice, which spring right from every chapter. The book does not tell a magical recipe for bringing in a million customers overnight. In all honesty, there is no such recipe. What the book does though is sum ...more
Cristian Moisei
Jan 17, 2018 rated it it was ok
Full of buzz words, annoyingly monotonous and only mildly useful. In my opinion, the only two valuable things I in this book are the list of 'traction' channels, and a few good suggestions for some of them, which I'll attached below.

Nevertheless, it is not a long or difficult read and I believe it is worthwhile investing the time to read it.

The author suggests aiming to dedicate 50% of resources to product and 50% to distribution (or what he calls traction).

Traction Channe
Katerina Trajchevska
The best marketing book I've ever read. Concise, easy to follow and to the point. I highly recommend Traction to any entrepreneur or marketer.

This book will help you define your marketing strategy and improve it over time until you get to a stage where you start to notice your traction. The main point it revolves around is taking actions that make your needle move. Meaning, as long as your marketing strategy moves your business forward, you're on the right track. Through constant testing and im
Oct 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Traction opens with a framework called Bullseye. The idea behind Bullseye is to test a number of growth channels, and quickly figure out which can help your business move the needle. To that end, the authors provide an in-depth look at 19 different growth channels, aided by interviews with people who have successfully used those channels to get traction.

It's a simple book and quick read, but I've already found it very helpful in thinking about strategic growth and critical paths.
Alejandro V. Betancourt
This book is a must read for everyone working in a Start Up.

'Most Start Ups don't fail because of their product, they fail because they don't gain traction.'

Weinberg dissects 19 different traction channels, summing up key terminology, tools and tactics, case studies from the real world. He also outlines a simple methodology to test and implement them. Every page is packed with actionable advice. A compresensive marketing crash course that will help everyone identify which strategy is best for th
Astrid Paramita
Sep 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Maybe if you're really up to date with the latest marketing and user growth effort, you won't be needing this book.

Otherwise, it's a gem! It explained the possible ways for startups to gain traction, explaining that there are no "one strategy for all" and it even depends on what's your traction goal and your own stage.

I could see myself coming back to this book over in the next months and years as I'm going through my own stages. Totally recommended for my fellow founders!!
Oct 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Very practical book for a fresh look at your go-to-market strategies & tactics. Good examples, to-the-point material. Really glad I stumbled upon it, gave me a lot of ideas how to improve my own business. ...more
Apr 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great book for start-up founders and early staged employees trying to figure out how to go to market with a certain product / business. The authors provide a great method for how to figure out the best sales & marketing (or 'traction') channels for your business ('Bullseye Method'). The Bullseye Method consists of effectively running tests on the 19 different traction channels available to businesses to find the best ONE for you.

The authors then lay out the nineteen different traction channels
Alicia Fox
May 31, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction

This was a ridiculous waste of my reading time. It's a collection of tips which are largely irrelevant to the target audience. I don't understand its other good reviews. To me, if you're at the point where the information here is applicable to you, you don't need this book; if you're starting out, it's not applicable. maybe its target audience is people working in start-ups which are beginning to see moderate success. That makes sense. Still, a lot of the advice is "just do A/B/
Petr Bela
Apr 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: startup
Good overview of 19 "getting traction" strategies, which every growth hacker should know about. Written by the founder of DuckDuckGo, it explains each strategy one by one and shares stories and interviews with founders from companies who have successfully applied the strategy in their business.

The stories themselves are not that important but the book itself (or the 19 strategies) should be in every startup founder's backpack.
Rian Merwe
Jan 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
The four stars are for the first 5 chapters. The rest of the book can easily be skimmed, but there are some really good ideas and things to try in those first few chapters. I like the Bullseye framework, and I like how well it all fits into Lean methodology without too much wiggling and squeezing. If you're able to hold your nose and read past words like "utilize" and "move the needle", I'd say the first 40 pages is well worth your time.
Drew Flynn
Dec 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A great compilation of various ways for startups to utilize marketing channels to churn out growth. Some were better than others, and some I knew while others I didn't. Overall it was great feeling ether being refreshed or enlightened on these different pathways, and the book is a good jumping point for marketers looking to gain traction for their businesses.
Gerry Lacey
Nov 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Really great book that gives a framework for thinking about and evaluating the channels to use in reaching your customers
Nasos Psarrakos
Jul 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
One of the most useful and actionable books I have read in a long time.
Linda Obregón
Aug 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a book you will always re-read. Super useful with practical tactics.
Viktor Kyosev
Apr 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: entrepreneurship
A book written by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs! One of the few books out there that actually provides concrete suggestions based on the success of many startups in relation to how to get traction. Especially valuable for early-stage startups but also valuable to more experienced founders.
The book lists 19 potential channels for acquiring new users/customers, each one is presented in detail followed by several examples of how to run small inexpensive experiments. The idea being, test as many
May 28, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I usually comment personally under most books I have read. Here, though, I found a review which totally reflects my view. It is By Nico ( Here it goes:

traction is all about early growth for startups. the book is a good compilation of techniques and ideas, but nothing spectacular if you have followed the developments in digital marketing in recent years.

I'd recommend this to founders who have no idea about digital marketing.

P.S: here I follow for the fir
Feb 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Absolutely fantastic effort at introducing an entrepreneur and startups to the modern reality of what it takes to keep a business relevant and to drive growth towards the creation of a successful enterprise. Even though it seemed heavily geared towards the online entrepreneurship space it has more than enough nuggets of information for the regular mom and pop business. Very well written with practical insights into the mindsets of knowledgeable and successful business resource people. This guide ...more
Jose Papo
Sep 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book is a must read if you want to deeply understand marketing, growth hacking and traction strategies in the new digital age. The first five chapters are a great work on how to implement a lean and experimentation system to test and learn the best traction tactics to implement. The other chapters are the meat of the book. Each is about a specific traction tactic and how to implement it. Read it to learn how to grow your startups, app or business!
David White
Jan 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Great book. Highly actionable advice for getting the sales and marketing (traction) part of a startup right.

It's really an overview of the variety of techniques, and a framework for trying and selecting the techniques that will work best for your business.

I'm sure there are other books that describe particular traction techniques in more detail, but this is superb reality check for product-focused startups.
Dec 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition roadmap to obtaining traction!

As an experienced entrepreneur, Mr Weinberg focuses in on the essential element for any business,not just startups...ready, willing , and able consumers. Until you have these people you don't actually have a business. Therefore this book provides critical insight into achieving customer growth. Easy to understand and execute, this book will be read by future Mark Zuckerbergs!
Omar M. Khateeb
It's rare to find a marketing book these days that is valuable as many are just rehashed from other books and offer no new tactics. This book is all about tactics that will dovetail into a powerful strategy. A lot of people who accomplished big things in the startup world weigh in on the various tactics and offer their own pearls of wisdom. Definitely a book I reference when launching new projects and marketing campaigns.
Jul 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: marketing
This is a great intro to the landscape of digital marketing, channel by channel. I thought there were a lot of interesting things in it, but I was also exhausted by the sheer number of things to think about by about halfway through. I'm glad to not be an early-stage marketer at a startup. The library loan ran out so I haven't finished it, although I might someday.
Jared Koehl
Jan 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Applicable, Actionable & Realistic

A brief yet at the same time thorough overview of all the traction channels one has the ability to implement in through the course of their start-up. As well an underlying narrative of when and how to split your time between product & marketing. Great read
Jan 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Great practical advice on how to test and decide on which growth channels to focus on in a particular stage of your business. The book is concise and the examples it provides can trigger your imagination.
Mar 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The basics of what any startup founder should know about marketing. A really great overview-- not deep, but a resource you can use to figure out what direction you should take at different stages of growing the business.
Jan 01, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
traction is all about early growth for startups. the book is a good compilation of techniques and ideas, but nothing spectacular if you have followed the developments in digital marketing in recent years.

I'd recommend this to founders who have no idea about digital marketing.
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Entrepreneur Book...: May 2018 Group Discussion: Traction 4 39 May 17, 2018 02:57AM  

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Since 2008, I've been the CEO & Founder of DuckDuckGo, the Internet privacy company that empowers you to seamlessly take control of your personal information online, without any tradeoffs. Our private search engine is #4 in the U.S., Germany, Australia and dozens of other countries, answering over 9 billion queries in 2018.

I also co-authored Super Thinking: The Big Book of Mental Models (Penguin P

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