What is The Traction Gap?
The Traction Gap is a period in a startup’s lifecycle that begins just after it releases its first product and executes its first go to market activities. The Traction Gap period ends once the startup successfully reaches Minimum Viable Traction (MVT). MVT is a point in a company’s maturity—whether it be a certain level of revenue growth, engagement, downloads, usage or the like—that demonstrates market validation and signals positive growth trajectory.
Before MVT, startups must successfully reach a series of value inflection points. These value inflection points include: Initial Product Release (IPR), Minimum Viable Product (MVP), and Minimum Viable Repeatability (MVR).
- IPR is where the startup first makes its product generally available to the public. At this stage, the team is seeking customer validation metrics to prove it has developed an MVP.
- MVP is a debated term but we subscribe to the following definition: a Minimum Viable Product is the most pared down version of a product that will still be purchased or used by customers.
- MVR is the smallest amount of repeatability a startup can execute to demonstrate its business model feasibility and product/market fit.
The lack of sufficient capital to traverse the Traction Gap is a critical issue for startups; mid to late stage venture firms are not as likely to make investments until a startup has reached MVT. Therefore, it is imperative startups reach MVT as quickly and as capital-efficiently as possible.
Download the complete Traction Gap Framework here.
What is The Traction Gap Institute (TGI)?
In 2016, Wildcat Venture Partners sponsored market research which identified that nearly 80% of all startups fail during the initial go to market phase. At the same time, Wildcat recognized there was very little guidance or support for startups to rely upon during this period. Since traction is critical at this point, Wildcat labeled this phase of a company’s maturity lifecycle the “Traction Gap”.
To help startups, Wildcat developed a comprehensive operational and investment process – the Traction Gap Framework. This framework is based upon the Wildcat’s team’s years of experience combined with input from many other successful entrepreneurs. In further support, Wildcat founded the Traction Gap Institute. The mission of the Traction Gap Institute (TGI) is to track, capture, and publish the metrics startups have used to successfully traverse the Traction Gap.
The TGI hosts conferences, workshops and other events to enable entrepreneurs and venture capital firms to share best practices so that early stage startups can successfully traverse the Traction Gap.
Become A Member Of The TGI
Interested in learning more about the Traction Gap? Become a member of the Traction Gap Institute.
Membership is free and includes:
- Access to research data as it is published that contains the tactics you need to traverse the Traction Gap.
- Invites to upcoming Traction Gap events and workshops so you can solve Traction Gap issues.
To become a member, click on join at the top of the page.
The TGI has developed the Traction Gap Partner Program to enable individuals, companies and organizations to contribute to the ongoing development of the Traction Gap Framework.