Traction: How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth (BOOK)

Startup marketing success secrets are much sought-after. We found this book How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth to be particularly helpful in considering how to roll out a product. The main takeaway: pick an initial traction channel that is working and focus on that until it burns out, and then move on to the next most effective traction channel. So if you find that Facebook rather than email is working for you, stay with that until that approach loses steam.

Startup marketing success secrets for app developers and beyond

Startup marketing success secrets needn’t be limited to traction channels, we believe founders need to initially do things that do no scale. They need to get on the phone, go out and meet with folks who are their target customers or better yet influencers of their target customers.

What do you think are the best ways to launch a product? Let us know!

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Most startups end in failure. Almost every failed startup has a product. What failed startups don’t have is traction — real customer growth.

This book introduces startup founders and employees to the “Bullseye Framework,” a five-step process successful companies use to get traction. This framework helps founders find the marketing channel that will be key to unlocking the next stage of growth.

Traction is a guide to getting customers, written for startup founders, marketers, and those interested in how today’s startups grow and get traction. This book shows you how the founders of several of the biggest companies and organizations in the world like Jimmy Wales (Wikipedia), Alexis Ohanian (Reddit), Paul English ( and Alex Pachikov (Evernote) have built and grown their startups. We interviewed over forty successful founders and researched countless more growth stories to pull out the repeatable tactics and strategies they used to get traction.

“Many entrepreneurs who build great products simply don’t have a good distribution strategy.” — Mark Andreessen, venture capitalist

Too often, startups spend months (or years) building a product only to struggle with traction once they launch. This struggle has startups trying random tactics – some ads, a blog post or two – in an unstructured way that leads to failure. Traction shows readers how to systematically approach marketing, and covers how successful businesses have grown through each of the following channels:

Viral Marketing
Public Relations (PR)
Unconventional PR
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
Social and Display Ads
Offline Ads
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Content Marketing
Email Marketing
Engineering as Marketing
Target Market Blogs
Business Development (BD)
Affiliate Programs
Existing Platforms
Trade Shows
Offline Events
Speaking Engagements
Community Building

This book draws on interviews we conducted with the following individuals:
Jimmy Wales, Co-founder of Wikipedia
Alexis Ohanian, Co-founder of reddit
Eric Ries, Author of The Lean Startup
Sam Yagan, Co-founder of OkCupid and CEO of
Jason Cohen, Founder of WP Engine
Chris Fralic, Partner at First Round Capital
Rand Fishkin, Founder of SEOmoz
Noah Kagan, Founder of AppSumo
Jason Kincaid, Blogger at TechCrunch
Alex Pachikov, Co-founder of Evernote
Ryan Holiday, Exec at American Apparel
Andrew Warner, Founder of Mixergy
Garry Tan, Partner at Y Combinator
and many more.

Editorial Reviews
Praise for the first edition of Traction:

“Anyone–founders, managers, and executives–trying to break through to new customers can use this smart, ambitious book.”
—Eric Ries, author of The Lean Startup

“Here is the inside scoop, the latest, most specific tactics from the red-hot center of the internet marketing universe. From someone who has done it. Twice.”
—Seth Godin, author of Linchpin

“A common question I get is: ‘How do I know if my business is getting traction, or how do I get traction for my business, or how do I get users?’ Traction answers all of these questions and more.”
—James Altucher, author of Choose Yourself

“The entrepreneurs who walk out of our offices with term sheets walk into them with Traction. It’s a pragmatic guide to solving the entrepreneur’s number one challenge.”
—Fred Wilson, partner of Union Square Ventures

“The question every founder asks after shipping is always: how do I get traction? This book actually answers it.”
—Alexis Ohanian, cofounder of reddit

“Traction is a critical guide for entrepreneurs looking to grow and scale their businesses.”
—Patrick Vlaskovits, bestselling author of The Lean Entrepreneur
About the Author
GABRIEL WEINBERG is the founder and CEO of DuckDuckGo, the search engine that doesn’t track you, receiving more than three billion searches in 2015. He was previously the cofounder and CEO of Opobox, which was acquired for $10 million. He lives in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, and on Twitter at @yegg.

JUSTIN MARES is the founder of two startups and the former director of revenue at Exceptional, a software company that was acquired by Rackspace. He lives in San Francisco,and on Twitter at @jwmares.