Master the Key Metrics for Startup Growth (AKA Traction)

The new book by Ash Maurya, bestselling author of Running Lean and creator of Lean Canvas.

Available Everywhere On June 14, 2016.

Why wait?

while supplies last... I only have a limited number of copies to giveaway.


Whether it's getting the green light on a new venture, or securing an additional round of funding, you are constantly faced with the challenge of demonstrating progress to your stakeholders.

The term stakeholder is loosely defined here to include anyone with a vested interest in your business idea. This could be an investor, corporate sponsor, spouse - even yourself. Yes, you are the first investor in your business idea. You invest with time, which is more valuable than money.

Up until now, we have typically relied on two measures of progress: how much stuff we're building and how much money we are making. Both of these are unreliable proxies of progress.

Building an untested product on time and on budget may simply lead to building a product nobody wants on time and on budget. While revenue is key to the survival of any business, revenue is a byproduct and not as actionable by itself. It's not current revenue that matters, but rather uncovering the leading indicators of future revenue that is key to growth.

In the Lean Startup world, we fallback on validated learning. But even validated learning alone is not a reliable measure of progress because your stakeholders regard business results, not learning, as the measure of progress. So we end up building two different stories of our business. The story we tell our stakeholders and the story we tell ourselves. They both start out the same, but diverge significantly over time because each uses a different definition of progress.

Is there a way out of this dichotomy? That is the promise of this book.


The answer lies in first establishing a single metric of progress. A metric that both entrepreneurs and stakeholders want. That metric is traction.

Evidence of traction signals that people other than yourself, your team, and possibly your mom care about your idea. The problem is that traction means different things to different people. And it too can be gamed.

It’s not enough to simply pick any convenient metric for the y-axis of your hockey-stick curve, one that conveniently happens to be going up and to the right, and pass it off as traction. For instance, plotting the cumulative number of users over time has nowhere to go but up and to the right. A more sophisticated investor will see right through this facade of vanity metrics. You have to instead pick a metric that serves as a reliable indicator for business model growth.


  • How to test whether your business model is worth pursuing using a handful of key metrics.
  • How to define, measure, and communicate progress using a single metric of progress - TRACTION
  • How to deconstruct traction into actionable levers for growth.
  • How to identify what to optimize in your business and what to ignore.
  • How to test any growth strategy using small, fast, additive experiments
  • How to uncover what customers want using iterative LEAN Sprints


Rand Fishkin Rand Fishkin, CEO and Co-Founder, SEOmoz, coauthor of The Art of SEO

In Running Lean, Ash has put together a book I wish I'd read before pursuing my own startup. The lean methodology has received a lot of press, but the level of detail, including case studies and practical applications make this book a resource worthy of sitting on every aspiring entrepreneur's shelf. It's not just great advice, but a great read, too.

David Skok David Skok , Author of for Entrepreneurs Blog, and General Partner at Matrix Partners

Customer validation has always been one of the best ways to eliminate wasted effort and shortcut directly to what will work. Eric Ries and Steve Blank did the startup world a great service by codifying and labeling the principles involved. Ash Maurya goes one further, providing a clear roadmap for Internet entrepreneurs, with a delightfully clear and simple writing style.

Jason Cohen Jason Cohen , Founder of WP Engine & Smart Bear

Lean concepts are exciting but it's hard to know what to actually do. Ash not only gives advice but makes it practicable—this is the first comprehensive guidebook for how to execute a Lean Startup.

Noah Kagan Noah Kagan, Chief Sumo of

Ash has laid out a clear compass for anyone to validate their ideas, solve real problems and create a successful business. I'd encourage this book to anyone trying to get a business off the ground.

Sean Ellis Sean Ellis, Founder & CEO of CatchFree

Ash provides compelling, actionable guidance for applying lean principles to a startup. His startup canvas changed the way I think about my own startup. This book is a valuable guide whether you are a serial entrepreneur or a first time founder.


Dan Martell Dan Martell, Founder of & Angel Investor

Easily one of the best technical books on Lean Startup ever written. Period. End of point. Done.





Ash Maurya is the author of Running Lean and the creator of the one-page business modeling tool "Lean Canvas." His posts and advice have been featured in Inc. Magazine, Forbes, and Fortune. He regularly hosts sold out workshops around the world and serves as a mentor to several accelerators including TechStars, MaRS, and Capital Factory. He serves on the advisory board of a number of startups, and has consulted to new and established companies. He lives in Austin, TX.


Due to factors beyond my control, Scaling Lean doesn't officially publish until June 14, 2016. Yes, I also think that June is a really long time to wait--especially if you are launching or scaling a new product right now. Remember that time is your scarcest resource.

So I got permission from my publisher (Penguin Random House) to be able to distribute a limited number of early access versions of the book prior to official launch. All you have to do is pre-order a hardcopy of Scaling Lean from a retailer of your choice and send us the receipt.

Preordering is simply like reserving a copy book. You don't get charged until the book ships and if the price goes down when the book launches (as it does on Amazon), you'll automatically get the lower price. To further sweeten the deal, I'm throwing in a few bonuses too...

When you pre-order Scaling Lean, you'll get:

1: The early access version (digital download) of Scaling Lean
Once we get your preorder purchase receipt, we'll send you a link to the early access version.

2: Backstage access to my book launch dashboard and e-book to follow
I am writing Scaling Lean using much the same process as my last book--by applying every principle and tactic in the book. As an early access reader, you'll get backstage access to every strategy and experiment we test towards our stretch goal of selling 100,000 copies of the book. I will be rolling all this into a standalone case-study which I will package as an e-book: "Journey to 100,000 copies" that you'll get as a bonus.

3: Membership to a private community of like minded entrepreneurs
Also, like the last book, I am creating a continuous feedback loop with readers using a private facebook group. This is where you can ask any questions about the book or your startup.



Use one of the links below to pre-order a hard-copy of Scaling Lean from a retailer of your choice. Please note that you need to pre-order a hardcopy for this offer.

Indie Bound Barnes and Noble Amazon Powell Books


Use the form below to upload your receipt. Once we receive and verify your receipt, we'll immediately send you a link to the early access version.

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Start applying the concepts in the book and join the community.

Life's too short to build something nobody wants.

See you on the other side...