What is Traction?

Traction is an informational series focused on customer-centric growth drivers for enterprise product adoption. Here at Traction, I share mental models, playbooks, and stories of customer-centric growth from founders and industry leaders who’ve built businesses of lasting value.

My aim is to keep this series simple, intuitive, and jargon free. I will go beyond the high level signals and reason about the drivers of product adoption and business growth.

If you’re a product-minded engineer who’s looking to build an enterprise product, this series is for you. If you’re a founder of an early stage company, product manager, business development manager, or account executive, you’ll find tactical tips and ideas to improve what you’re already practicing.

But why?

The most frequent asks from startup founders and leaders building enterprise products are around GTM functions such as positioning, pricing, growth, marketing, and sales. Most content that I find today identifies and analyzes signals. For example, folks twist ‘product-market-fit’ to mean a number of things, and it’s often used as a proxy or signal of exponential organic adoption. It isn’t the driver of product adoption. It doesn’t explain why one product achieves product-market-fit but not the other.

Everything I’ve learned about growing product adoption, I’ve learned on the job from other founders, colleagues, and leaders. Traction is a way for us to gather and share these learnings with our fellow practitioners. My goal is to create a collection of go-to-market plays from a variety of different situations that resonate with what you’re building. Write in if you’d like to share your lessons and plays that worked for you!


Traction is brought to you by me, Anu Sharma. I’m based in Seattle.

As an investor at the Madrona Venture Group, I partner with founders who are driving customer-centric growth for their enterprise products and are developing go-to-market playbooks for different stages of their business. If you’re looking to get deeper and learn more, or if you’d like to share your story, drop me a line anytime on Twitter @anusharma.

I’m an engineer by training, a product manager by experience, and an investor by profession. Over decade and half of building products at AWS, Amazon Retail, Flipkart, and Oracle, I’ve learned everything I know about building products and scaling adoption on the job. My stories of failure are far more interesting and intentional than most of the fluke successes along the way. I’ve broken production builds at Oracle as an engineer (in those days it halted the production of CDs) and broken EC2 pricing in production as a product manager (this pushed wrong billing estimates to millions of customers). I’ve also presented passionately to Andy Jassy and recommend leaving passion outside the room if you ever have the chance!