Traction Book Summary - Traction Book explained in key points
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Traction summary

Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares

A Start-Up Guide to Getting Customers

4 (82 ratings)
18 mins

Brief summary

In 'Traction', Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares share a comprehensive guide to help startups gain traction with their target audience. The book offers actionable advice and examples to help businesses grow and scale their operations.

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    Start thinking about traction early on by growing customer demand for your product.

    Countless start-ups launch every day, but only a fraction succeed. Why? The answer lies in traction: the growth of customer demand for a product.

    Traction is crucial because the defining metric for any start-up is its growth rate, and this growth can only be driven by a corresponding growth in consumer demand.

    However, the amount of traction your company needs depends on the stage it’s reached. Early on, even a handful of new customers count as traction, but by the time you have a customer base of 10,000, only increments of thousands will work.

    Another key to understanding traction is that it isn’t just about a good product; it also depends on solid marketing strategy. Many mistakenly think that a great product is all that’s needed to attract customers. However, this is almost never true. Your product needs to be marketed to the right audience in the right way.

    Nonetheless, what you’re selling is still important. Split your time 50/50 between product development and traction. By devoting time to traction early on, you’ll also get valuable feedback that will help you further develop your products.

    For example, when Dropbox started out, they tested search engine marketing but quickly realized it was too expensive: gaining a single customer cost twice the amount they made from a subscription! Luckily, they had time to experiment with cheaper and more effective viral marketing strategies.

    A final advantage of thinking about traction early on is that it builds useful experience and allows you to grow quickly once the product is ready. For example, marketing software company Marketo started blogging about their product long before it was fully developed. This led to a better product thanks to the feedback they received, but also resulted in a ready-made customer base of 14,000 buyers on the day they launched.

    So how does your start-up build traction? Read on to learn about proven techniques.

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    What is Traction about?

    Traction (2014) explains why the success of every start-up depends not only on its products, but on the customer base it builds. Weinberg and Mares present proven methods for gaining customers, and help you choose the best for each growth phase of your company. With a bit of Traction, you’ll win – and develop – the audience your product deserves.

    Traction Review

    Traction (2015) by Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares is a valuable resource for entrepreneurs looking to grow their businesses. Here's what sets this book apart:

    • With its actionable strategies, it provides practical tools and techniques that can be immediately implemented to gain traction in the market.
    • Backed by research and real-world examples, the book offers insights from successful startups, giving readers a clear understanding of what works and what doesn't.
    • By focusing on the customer acquisition process and providing a comprehensive framework, the book offers a roadmap for sustainable growth, making it anything but boring.

    Best quote from Traction

    Traction is the best way to improve your chances of start-up success.

    —Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares
    example alt text

    Who should read Traction?

    • Founders and business owners
    • Anyone thinking about launching a start-up
    • Marketers and public relations professionals

    About the Author

    Gabriel Weinberg is the founder and CEO of privacy-oriented internet search engine DuckDuckGo. Justin Mares is a start-up founder with expertise in mobile health and 3D printing. Both have been directors at start-ups that sold for eight-figure sums.

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    Traction FAQs 

    What is the main message of Traction?

    The main message of Traction is how to achieve sustainable and scalable growth for your business.

    How long does it take to read Traction?

    The reading time for Traction varies depending on the reader's speed, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Traction a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Traction is a valuable read for entrepreneurs and marketers. It offers practical strategies and frameworks to help businesses gain traction and grow.

    Who is the author of Traction?

    The authors of Traction are Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares.

    What to read after Traction?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Traction, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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    • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
    • The Mom Test by Rob Fitzpatrick
    • Hacking Growth by Sean Ellis & Morgan Brown
    • Influence by Robert B. Cialdini
    • Deep Work by Cal Newport
    • Scaling Up by Verne Harnish
    • $100M Offers by Alex Hormozi