Discover more from Traction Thinking
New: 🚦 3-2-1 Traction — growth hacking, advisory boards, and pitch deck prettiness
Also in this issue: the single most powerful way to think about a startup, lessons from Nvidia's strong earnings report, and staying curious about your customers
Hey friend 👋
Welcome to Monday! 7 brand new days are before me, and I’m feeling pumped.
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We’ve got good stuff, so let’s waste no more time. 👇
3 ideas from me
Growth hacking isn’t magic. We just make it seem that way.
My favourite technique is Channel Hacking, and it’s just 3 steps:
Channel Surfing. List all available channels where you can find customers. Don’t do 5 — do 20. Be extremely specific.
Channel Selection. Rank them based on efficiency — the number of customers you can reach, and the difficulty it is to reach them.
Channel Testing. Pick the most efficient channel (most customers, least effort), and design an experiment to run on that channel.
Nailed it? Great!
Failed? Revise your priors, and run another experiment.
Growth hacking isn’t magic. It’s science.
The single most powerful way to think about a startup:
The search for a “credible theory of hugeness”.
Hugeness: A massive pool of customers with a severe, urgent problem that we can solve.
Theory: How are we going to get huge? A compelling value prop for an early adopter that you can efficiently get in front of in a way that captures value.
Credibility: This theory is right because the timing and team are right, the model is defensible, and customers are saying yes (traction).
In the early days, the theory and credibility are thin. As you discover and validate, they get progressively thicker — together.
In fact, a startup pitch is just a way of telling this story in 10 slides.
Want to dive deeper? Check out this video on YouTube.
Startups with a formal advisory board have a 29% higher chance of success.
It’s no wonder why. They bring:
But there’s a catch — the benefits are largely confined to startups that have a formal advisory board, rather than an informal group of advisors.
There’s value to frequency & consistency:
It’s not a board if you don’t meet regularly… It’s just people talking. ¯\(ツ)/¯
2 ideas from others
I don't think I have ever seen a fundraising deck getting better by using a designer to design it. The same goes for using fancy tools…
The two mistakes founders make are believing that the creative capabilities of the tools make a better deck. The second mistake is believing that the design is important.
The most creative people operate under constraints. And the most powerful tools are your words and storytelling.
Seriously. We don’t care about pretty decks nearly as much as you do.
As the AI chip kingpin, Nvidia currently holds the keys to the castle — and every major player must go through them for the precious GPUs fueling the arms race. For now, the AI boom has a clear champion.
The lesson: During a gold rush, sell the shovels.
I’ll leave the takeaway to you, my friend.
1 question for you
It's easy to create things customers want when you are genuinely curious about what customers experience. Rather than asking yourself, "how can I serve my customers?", start by asking, "how can I be more curious about their life?”
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