David Strittmatter

Almost every failed startup has a product but lacks traction

Traction is growth. The pursuit of traction is what defines a startup – Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares in Traction

Dear friend,

I just finished reading Traction: How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth – it’s the “bible” for achieving growth as a startup.

The 5 key messages are:

  • The pursuit of traction is what defines a startup and determines failures or success
  • Traction and product development are of equal importance and should each get about half of the founding team’s attention
  • Your traction strategy should always be focused on activities that result in a measurable, significant impact on your traction goal – and every startup needs a traction goal
  • There are 19 traction channels for each of which you have to elaborate a channel strategy when you set your next traction goal
  • To optimize efficiency, conduct cheap traction tests in 1-3 channels (ideally in parallel) that seem most promising, track results, and continue testing new channels until you prove with data the most promising one, which you then scale until you set the next traction goal

As the CEO of the startup, I’m most concerned about finding the ideal first customer for our technology at the moment. There is already huge demand but each customer has different needs.

The ideal customer is fully aligned with the current status of our technology. And there is little to adaptations needed from our site to fully satisfy their needs.

I’m applying the learnings from the book in addition to what I already learned to identify, approach, and reach potential customers. In the coming months, once I reached our current traction goal, I’ll report on my experiences (traction channel, strategy, tests, etc.).

Hope you learned something today!

All the best,


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