How To Build a Startup That Doesn't Flop

May 8, 2019

PUBLISHED BY Bruce Cleveland

SOURCE Young Upstarts

This is the first in a three-installment series that is designed to help you understand the Traction Gap Framework® – a step-by-step survival guide for startups – developed by myself and my partners at Wildcat Venture Partners, an early stage venture capital firm we founded in 2015. If followed, we believe it can help startup teams navigate the critical early stages of development – and avoid joining a majority of early stage companies that end up on the entrepreneurial scrap heap.

Read on to discover why successfully traversing the Traction Gap is critical to early stage companies.

The Path to Startup Success is Littered with Failures.

According to the statistics cited in a variety of industry reports, most startups fail, leaving behind a trail of good ideas that never came to be. Of the 4,000 – 5,000 startups that are founded each year, the vast majority – more than 90 percent – crash and burn. Based on these statistics, perhaps 800 are destined to succeed in raising their Series A investment round, and even fewer – less than 10 percent – will survive long enough to reach their Series C. It’s brutal out there.

However, there are steps you can take to dramatically increase your chances of success. At Wildcat, we’ve organized these steps into the Traction Gap Framework – a centralized strategy that codifies key lessons learned by me and my founding General Partners over the course of our decades-long operating and venture investing experience.

When we initially formed our firm, we reviewed our prior performance as investors. Surprisingly, we discovered that one out of four of the early stage startups that we had backed over the years made it through the challenging go-to-market phase and scaled to a $B or more – well above the industry standard. Looking deeper, we discovered that we had each used similar approaches over the course of our careers. We didn’t have shared vocabulary at the time but we had shared learnings. Clearly, we were onto a successful methodology – one that could help early stage companies build a foundation for success.

And so the Traction Gap Framework was born. What makes it such a game-changer is that it provides target metrics, strategies and tactics that early stage startups can use to guide them through the crucial go-to-market phase. One foundational principle of the framework is the notion of performing “market-engineering” tasks up front, to ensure you have a reasonable chance of what we call “market-product” fit (without a market, there is no need for your product) before beginning the go-to-market phase.


Read the full article on Young Upstarts .