December 16, 2016

Marketo First Venture Capitalist Bruce Cleveland on Traversing the Traction Gap

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Traversing the Traction Gap

Before “crossing The Chasm’, startups must first successfully “traverse the Traction Gap”. The Traction Gap is a period in a startup’s lifecycle that begins just after it releases its first product and starts its first go to market activities, and ends once it has demonstrated market validation with a positive growth trajectory.

The first investor in Marketo, the founding executive at Siebel, and early product leader at Oracle Bruce Cleveland discusses the Traction Gap framework, key Traction Gap metrics, and tactics startups can use to successfully navigate this key phase in a company’s lifecycle.

About the Speaker

Bruce Cleveland focuses on investments in the enterprise software market. He was the original investor and a former board member of Marketo (acquired in 2016 by Vista Equity Partner for $1.8B), currently serves on the boards of companies such as Amplero, Aria Systems, Splice Machine and Stellar Loyalty, and co-led investments in Doximity and Opal Labs. Bruce is also the co-founder and executive chairman of a new startup operating in stealth mode, the Executive Chairman of the Traction Gap Institute, and the founder and president of Bend Polytechnic Academy (BendPoly). Prior to entering venture capital in 2006, Bruce held senior executive roles in engineering, product management and product marketing with companies such as Apple, AT&T, Oracle and Siebel Systems. Bruce was a member of the founding executive team of Siebel Systems where he served as SVP, Marketing and SVP, Products. He is credited by Forbes and IDC with creating the most effective B2B alliance program in the software industry.

Products That Count is one of the largest communities of product managers, leaders and entrepreneurs in the world. It provides insider access to founders and C-level execs such as Netflix Product VP, Crossing the Chasm legendary author, Trulia Founder, or Lyft CMO, via speaker series, podcasts, and invite-only executive retreats. Partners include WeChat, Yelp, LeanPlum, Pragmatic Marketing, and StartupDigest. Its venture arm, Mighty Capital, invests in companies building products that count once they have demonstrated product/market fit.