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Traction: How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth

Gabriel Weinberg, Justin Mares · 9 HN comments
HN Books has aggregated all Hacker News stories and comments that mention "Traction: How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth" by Gabriel Weinberg, Justin Mares.
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Amazon Summary
Most startups don’t fail because they can’t build a product. Most startups fail because they can’t get traction. Startup advice tends to be a lot of platitudes repackaged with new buzzwords, but Traction is something else entirely. As Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares learned from their own experiences, building a successful company is hard. For every startup that grows to the point where it can go public or be profitably acquired, hundreds of others sputter and die. Smart entrepreneurs know that the key to success isn’t the originality of your offering, the brilliance of your team, or how much money you raise. It’s how consistently you can grow and acquire new customers (or, for a free service, users). That’s called traction, and it makes everything else easier—fund-raising, hiring, press, partnerships, acquisitions. Talk is cheap, but traction is hard evidence that you’re on the right path. Traction will teach you the nineteen channels you can use to build a customer base, and how to pick the right ones for your business. It draws on inter-views with more than forty successful founders, including Jimmy Wales (Wikipedia), Alexis Ohanian (reddit), Paul English (Kayak), and Dharmesh Shah (HubSpot). You’ll learn, for example, how to: ·Find and use offline ads and other channels your competitors probably aren’t using ·Get targeted media coverage that will help you reach more customers ·Boost the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns by automating staggered sets of prompts and updates ·Improve your search engine rankings and advertising through online tools and research Weinberg and Mares know that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution; every startup faces unique challenges and will benefit from a blend of these nineteen traction channels. They offer a three-step framework (called Bullseye) to figure out which ones will work best for your business. But no matter how you apply them, the lessons and examples in Traction will help you create and sustain the growth your business desperately needs.
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All the comments and stories posted to Hacker News that reference this book.
Wax helps you systematically find and implement strategies that grow your company. The system is based on the book Traction[0] by Gabriel Weinberg (founder & CEO of DuckDuckGo) and Justin Mares (founder of Kettle & Fire and Perfect Keto). Wax guides you thru process of testing growth channels to find what works for your company. We also offer a "done for you service" where a contractor will execute the the strategies for you.

0 -

So I signed up on your website, and the confirmation email it sent me doesn't work. The link goes to localhost:8080.
fixed! please try again.
Well, they did say it was for hackers.
fixed! please try again.
yep, you need to gain access to his LAN first
> "Anyone--founders, managers, and executives--trying to break through to new customers can use this smart, ambitious book." -- Eric Ries


I enjoyed Traction

It's written by the founder of DuckDuckGo and he talks through all the different potential marketing channels and how to choose what's best for your company.

I thought it was pretty actionable and there wasn't much "fluff".

I've heard this one brought up before, but I've never read it. I didn't realize it was the founder of DuckDuckGo either so that's pretty cool. I'll add it to the list!
There is a good book on this called “Traction” by Gabriel Weinberg (the founder of DuckDuckGo) where he outlines 19 “channels” for getting traction [1]. I’ve also seen the guy from FPU [2] do a good job at extending this list.

Also, why is nobody focusing on unsuccessful “growth strategies”? I’ve often learned more from people who failed at something and told me 10 things to be aware of vs. someone who succeeded and didn’t recognize the role luck played in their success.



Unsuccessful "growth strategies"? I will look into that !
Everything by Patio11 [0]. Traction by Gabriel Weinberg [1]. Also, see IndieHackers community [2] if you are interested bootstrapping.




This is the one that's usually recommended here. It's a great book!
Oct 22, 2017 · iridium on Avoiding Startup Tarpits
Have you read the book Traction yet? It provides a very usable growth framework. More importantly, It also allows you to start thinking of marketing as a testable iterative process, and this simple change in mindset can do wonders for the engineer/hacker.

Feb 28, 2017 · activatedgeek on Traction Stack
The website that goes along with the book
There are tons of different ways to market your side project and what works for someone else may not work for you, of course.

I think it really just comes down to where your potential customers may be hanging out / searching. For my side project, I've had decent success responding to posts/questions on sites like Quora, where someone is looking for exactly what you offer. It's free too (besides for your time!).

The book Traction ( gives a pretty solid overview of different marketing methods/strategies.

That is a very good idea. The side project I am working on does serve a very specific function, so I may try taking this route. Now, do you answer old questions, or do you find new ones and answer those?
Tapping into an existing, niche community seems to be a pretty common and successful method. Does your project help solve a common problem for a narrowly defined group of people? If so, is there a forum where this problem is commonly discussed? Become a helpful member of this community. Ask and answer questions there without only constantly pushing your project in a spammy way.
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