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Traction: A Startup Guide to Getting Customers

Book Description

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 Marketings

  • 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)

  • Sales

  • 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