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Publisher's 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 19 channels you can use to build a customer base and how to pick the right ones for your business. It draws on interviews with more than 40 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 19 traction channels. They offer a three-step framework (called Bullseye) to figure out which ones will work best for your business.

©2015 Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares (P)2015 Gildan Media LLC

Critic Reviews

"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)

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  • 06-18-16

Review from a marketing pro

Any additional comments?

Well written book with a terrific narration by the author, which is always a big plus. Its not ground breaking or eye opening, instead it puts things in perspective.

My opinion is a little biased as I own and operate an online marketing company, so I do physically practice all of the discussed channels and my company offers them as a service. The main thing that Gabriel Weinberg does exceptionally well is offer a well structured approach and paints a solid framework. My main takeaway was communicating a holistic view of the ideal marketing mix to my team.

I highly recommend this book!

8 people found this helpful

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A definite MUST READ

This is a book every business person should have in their arsenal if they're wanting to thrive. I just finished listening and plan to listen again and again—loved it. I was tempted many times to jump in and start doing what was said but decided to listen all the way to the end first—glad I did. Looking forward to following the advice as outlined in this book. There are so many instructions and steps to follow. Thank you!

6 people found this helpful

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great review

very practical insightful review of things you can do to get exposure for your business.

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good book. worth a listen. def can use the tools

it is good. some of the examples are dated as of 2017 but great content for an entrepreneur to use.

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great!

the material was clear concise and impactful. I've already recommended it to friends. well worth the time and money. Thanks!

2 people found this helpful

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Awesome marketing advice for startups

Would you listen to Traction again? Why?

I'm listening to it a second time already. It's easy to listen to and understand, yet it's so dense with valuable marketing advice that you'll want to take notes while listening.

2 people found this helpful

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Unbearable Shallow Common Sense

I have read and listened to hundreds of business books and can’t make it through this shallow book. The content is obvious basic common sense. I don’t know why this is highly regarded by so many people. I hear it recommended regularly and now question the recommenders who find this useful.

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Hard to keep my attention

I struggled to get through the first few chapters. I kept waiting for it to get better but it left me disappointed.

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It’s unheard of all the information you gave.

Thank you for making it clear and for being transparent with what worked for you.



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Ton of value

Actionable information with no fluff. One of the best business books out there. Ton of value.