Being the first matters in Traction too

When we think about being the first product for a particular need or niche - it’s always about the Product. But something that all of us must remember is that if you find a unique Traction Channel and you’re the first one to do that - the result is mind blowing. The best companies invent their Traction Channels and continuously focus on finding new ways to acquire users. Either it’s a completely new Traction Channel or it’s an existing Traction Channel but executed 10x better with innovation and invention.


  • Netflix (when it was a DVD rental company) gave one month free subscription with every DVD Player sold

  • PayPal executed referrals like no one else, it paid of extremely well

  • Nike’s Ads and Nike’s association with the best athletes. Extremely amazing execution in both with immense level of innovation

  • Apple Events and Apple Stores. I have mentioned this example many times before. Events and Stores existed before but the way Apple executed - that’s pure zero to one. Doing things 10x better than they were done before

  • Even though the Product eventually failed - but Hike Messenger in India in its very early days allowed people to send free SMS through their App (this is a time when SMS is extremely popular) - this helped them get a lot of Traction. Others tried to copy it, but it just wasn’t the same

  • Netflix continuously experiments new Traction Channels even today. Recently in India they launched a campaign as a part of which anyone could binge watch Netflix for free over the weekend

  • Zomato in India cracked Social Media (specially Twitter) like no one had ever done before. And it became a household Brand

Whenever you think about a Traction Channel - think about the company that was the first to completely dominate the same. What did they do differently? And then ask yourself what can you do differently that eventually becomes a Traction Moat?

Either crack a completely new Traction Channel or think about being the best in the world for an existing Traction Channel by 10x better execution and innovation.

Best companies don’t just build the best Products but also the best Traction Channels.

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