Learn how to get traction by Andrea Livotto

10/24/2014 | By Startup Weekend Hong Kong

This post originally appeared on blog.up.co

Startup Weekend has introduced many of you to Customer Development. You’ve learned how to “get out of the building” and validate your hypotheses. You’ve been on the journey to product/market fit. Some of you have reached a clear value proposition that really addresses the needs of a specific customer segment. Congratulations!

But once you get there, do you know how to scale the reach of your offer? Do you know how to give your product the popularity it really deserves?

Enter Traction, the new book by Gabriel Weinberg (founder of DuckDuckGo) and Justin Mares.

The authors interviewed 40 well known startup entrepreneurs – including Jimmy Wales, Alexis Ohanian and Noah Kagan to mention but a few – and analysed many more startups, to understand how their products reached traction. The results are some great insights into many different traction channels, and a very practical framework that you can apply in your own search for traction.

The book devotes 19 chapters to analysis and suggestions on as many traction channels. Some are online – from SEM and social ads to content marketing and email marketing – and some are offline – including trade shows, community building, and – yes – newspaper ads.

The most important observation the authors make is that, just based on the product you have, there is no way to tell in advance what traction channel may work for you. Because of this, the authors devised a framework that lets you consider all channels, and select a few to run some test on.

Only after some testing and measurements, can you then confidently focus all your marketing energies on the one channel that shows the most promise. Never select your channels just based on what you may think will work, or you may miss some great opportunities.

Traction is out at the end of August. I’ve had the luck to have early access to the book. I strongly believe its framework to search for traction is going to be as helpful to startups as Steve Blank’s customer development and Osterwalder’s business model canvas. I definitely advise you read it too.


Post written by Andrea Livotto, Director at Clarity - a web agency in Hong Kong - and organiser of many SWHK!