Traction. It's a hot buzzword tossed around the startup ecosystem as an umbrella term to encompass the idea that your company is picking up steam.
Traction is a positive indicator to the major stakeholders you have as a founder: investors, employees, customers, and of course - you.
Think of traction as an agreed-upon way to gauge how it's going. With the right amount of traction:
- early investors are happy (value of their equity increases)
- fundraising is easier (product/market fit speaks for itself)
- recruiting is simpler (you know what you need to hire for)
- employee retention is higher (why leave something good)
- hesitant potential customers are more likely to try your product (social proof goes a long way)
Bottom line: traction is Founder Fuel of the highest caliber. A TechCrunch article might get you some headlines, but a TechCrunch article doesn't make companies succeed. Traction does.
But what is traction, exactly? Is it the number of downloads you have? The number of people using your product daily? The total amount of interactions your users have had with the service in the last week? Monthly recurring revenue (MRR)? Month/month account creation growth? The list of ways you can measure traction is never-ending.
Some of these traction-tracker-things you'll measure are your product metrics.