Traction: Book Review
How Startups Get Customers To Buy Their Products
As a startup, you should be aware of the book “Traction.” It’s a good starting place for understanding the startup lingo and understanding how startups grow. “Traction,” by Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares is about the process of building user growth and getting people to buy your product by creating user growth. Traction provides a nice blueprint for startup founders who need a basic understanding of how to grow and scale. What we mean by blueprint is going through every piece of the process - whether it's paid media or organic SEO to partnerships and how to develop partnerships as a startup team. This book helps both sales teams and all new startups get a sense of each component of the traction process and how they can impact your company.
"Traction provides a nice blueprint for startup founders on how to grow and scale."
Another positive of the book is that it breaks down every aspect of startups including challenges and how to overcome them. You should not expect Facebook-like growth just by coming up with a great product idea. Execution matters. The differentiator between yourself and every other company that has failed is whether you executed on a great idea.
The cool thing about this book is both Weinberg and Mares talk about how each component - paid media, marketing, partnerships, SEO, every digital market - add up to create traction.
What are some negatives in the book? Well, even with the newer edition, the book is too simplified for the realities of startups. It's a nice blueprint but they don't mention which startups weren't successful, and I think by learning from some of the failures of startups and which companies didn't succeed, you can learn just as much. I would like to see a bit more case studies in the book about startups that have failed, and what that teaches you as a startup.
The differentiator between yourself and every other company is whether you executed on a great idea.
Another point is that you've always got to keep a skeptical eye. Getting SEO, getting PR, marketing and all the different terms and things going for your startup isn't as simple as it might be depicted. This isn't necessarily a lengthy book but keep a skeptical eye and challenge some of their points. Challenge other people's ideas and thoughts. Anything that you read in here or our book, go look up. Find out more for yourself and get more case studies to verify. You've got to have empirical evidence to make sure things are legit. It doesn’t hurt to verify what you’re told.