Here are my thoughts about traction for startups.
What is Traction?
Traction is a proof that your startup idea or product actually works. It’s a proof that people are actually willing to pay for it – and that there is a problem or need for your product that people are willing to pay for.
Now, the main challenge though of traction is: how do you actually go out and get people to buy your product?
Where Does Traction Begin?
I say that the very core of your startup is your idea. And the measurement of how good your idea is, or how not-so-good, is traction. But traction is only a measurement. It is not your startup. Your startup should be your product. And only as a result of having a good product, you gain traction.
I’ve seen some very good salespeople, some very good sales strategies where you can sell products that will work. You can sell products out of thin air. It’s like selling ice to an Eskimo.
I don’t really believe in that concept.
A scalable traction is backed by a good idea where you can actually start generating sales – minus doing all the sales work.
Why It Has to Start with a Good Idea
If you have a good idea, people will naturally start coming and use your product and pay for it. They’re then going to refer your product to other people. When that kind of word gets around, then that’s when you start to grow your product without doing all the hard work and sales.
So I would measure traction in a sense that the method to selling should also be proper. It shouldn’t be a hard sell.
Naturally, for startups of course, you start selling to friends and relatives and people that you are in connection with. There’s nothing wrong with that, especially if you’re in the product market or the problem-solution market.
So you go out to your friends, let them try the idea and your product. Eventually though, you’ll need to get to the point where the product and idea sell themselves without needing too much sales effort.
After all, you want people to like your product as it is, not because of hard selling methods.
Related Article: Developing Products for the Third World