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 Marketing

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)


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.

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