Why I care about all the traction stuff
Last week I spent an evening with a friend who is prepping to pitch his 5 month old startup to investors. He was resilient and optimistic, but felt his progress was unspectacular.
I started to ask questions. How many users? What types (it’s a marketplace at core)? What are the actions? How many requests? How many matches?
It turns out, as a limited beta product, it’s rocking. Something like 80% of requests are being filled. Every request share on Facebook generates 5 new users. Given the limited time, there’s been an impressive rate of requests. And people are hacking the product when they need to (a good sign to me).
It turned out that looking through the early progress with the right question and lens reveals a very solid beta product. He should know how well he’s doing, from a perspective that appeals to investors. So he can get that $%#$@er funded and keep building!
This is why understanding how to determine what traction is important, and communicate it is so key. I’m not interested in helping startups exaggerate their progress. But I love helping them find the true story of how well they’re doing, framed in ways that make sense to investors.