This book is like attending a panel discussion on customer acquisition with some of the most successful startup founders today.
Traction: A Startup Guide to Getting Customers is an essential read for all startup founders. Written by DuckDuckGo CEO and Founder Gabriel Weinberg and serial entrepreneur Justin Mares, this customer acquisition guidebook helps the reader navigate through 19 traction channels with detailed guidance on ways to best implement each channel into your business’s growth strategy.
While 19 channels may seem like a lot to use, especially for startup founders still eyebrow-deep in code and juggling too many balls in the air already, the authors encourage you to keep an open mind and try each one, as you never know which channel will gain traction with your customers. This is absolutely true, especially in a new startup where your “target audience” might be different than you originally assumed. You will never know if soccer moms will love your shopping app if you’re only marketing it towards pre-teens and college kids.
Weinberg and Mares provide helpful tools and clear tactics to implement, test, and measure the different traction channels. These are essential in helping you know when a channel is working and when to shift. In addition to this, they explain that a specific channel might work during one phase of the startup’s growth, but after your growth curve flattens, what worked before usually will not get you to the next level. This insight shows the authors not only understand that shifting is needed to properly market a startup, but that Traction is valuable to a startup company at every stage of growth.
The authors explain each traction channel using expert advice and several examples of successful implementation. Though Weinberg and Mares are successful entrepreneurs themselves, they understand the premium value in learning from the success of others and interviewed numerous founders who have mastered each of the traction channels. This book is like attending a panel discussion on customer acquisition with some of the most successful startup founders today.
In addition to highlighting success in each traction channel, the channels are simplified with clear implementation techniques. The creative ideas and useful approaches are practical for any stage startup without being too basic or elementary. The authors assume their reader is educated and has basic knowledge on certain topics. For example, in the SEO channel, the authors assume the reader understands the basic concept behind SEO and then elaborates on the tactics behind this channel. Â They reference a link to a beginners guide on their website for those not familiar with the concept so no one is left in the dark, but no time or valuable book space was used to cover a concept most startup founders should understand on a basic level. I like that the authors respect their readers enough to assume they are educated on basic concepts and simply want tactical and new creative ways to execute them more successfully.
Overall, Traction is an excellent resource for startups. It will help expose entrepreneurs to multiple forms of customer acquisition with tools to measure that success as the business launches. Then it will help them navigate through the next phases of the startup. Get inspired, let the ideas flow, and most importantly, GET MORE CUSTOMERS!