Businesses grow by getting traction. Without it, a brand will easily lose market share and eventually implode with a whimper.

But how exactly do you gain traction?

Gabriel Weinberg, a millennial entrepreneur who achieved the unthinkable feat of challenging Google at its own game — and surviving — will show you how. Gabriel co-founded the search engine upstart DuckDuckGo in 2008 to provide a Google alternative that doesn’t invade your privacy. The company grew from an informal launch on a community website into a popular search engine option on Firefox and Safari, with more than 3 billion searches processed in 2015 and millions of dollars in revenues.

The Philadelphia-based entrepreneur recounted his experiences in a book entitled Traction: How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth.

In this talk, Gabriel will share the story of how he discovered and addressed a specific pain point among search engine users and leveraged the solution as the core offering of his business. But in the digital economy, having a useful product won’t take you very far. So Gabriel will also share how his team iterated DuckDuckGo multiple times to consistently gain traction.

What does it take to keep your business sustainable? You need to have a message that resonates with a niche audience and keeps them in hyper-engaged mode. You also need to send that message through the right channel. That is traction. And you need it all the time.

Whether by attracting additional funding, reeling more profits, or testing the viability of a new product, traction will help you scale your business to the next level.  

In this episode you’ll learn:

  • How Gabriel Weinberg initially tested whether there’s a demand for a service like DuckDuckGo even amid the market dominance of colossal search engines like Google and Bing. (4:45)   
  • The concept of “traction” as a buzzword in business, marketing and growth hacking. (6:37)
  • How to apply the “Bullseye Framework” that will enable you to achieve explosive customer growth. (9:56)
  • The step-by-step process of identifying which of the 19 marketing channels will help you gain traction. (10:15)
  • How a small startup expanded into a multi-million dollar company by finding and solving a specific pain point experienced by search engine users. (12:01)

Please enjoy!


This episode of Powderkeg is brought to you by DeveloperTown. If you’re a business leader trying to turn a great idea into a product with traction, this is for you.

DeveloperTown works with clients ranging from entrepreneurs to Fortune 100 companies who want to build and launch an app or digital product. They’re able to take the process they use with early stage companies to help big companies move like a startup.

So if you have an idea for a web or mobile app, or need help identifying the great ideas within your company, go to

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Links and Resources Mentioned in this Episode:


  • Featured Entrepreneur: DuckDuckGo co-founder Gabriel Weinberg, @yegg, Medium Page


Did you enjoy this conversation? Thank Gabriel on Twitter!

If you enjoyed this session and have 3 seconds to spare, let Gabriel  know via Twitter by clicking on the link below:

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What stood out most to you about what Jordan shares in this podcast?

For me, it’s how to apply the “Bullseye Framework” that will enable you to achieve explosive customer growth.

You? Leave a comment below.


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