This framework for approaching traction uses a bullseye metaphor (see picture). At any given time, the inner circle contains your most promising traction verticals; the next concentric circle contains the next most promising, and the latter rung contains the rest.
Using the Bullseye Framework is a five-step process:
Step 1: Brainstorming. Go through each traction vertical and brainstorm how you might use it effectively for your current situation. This first step is meant to help you systematically counteract your biases by forcing you to take each vertical seriously. As such, it should take a while. First, you need to have a basic understanding and appreciation for each vertical, which our book is designed to give you. Second, you should have mapped your space to know where others have succeeded and failed at each vertical and why. Third, for each vertical you should spend at least an hour thinking up plausible paths to traction within it, and more specifically possible cheap tests to run in that vertical. The whole process should be spread out over days or weeks.
Step 2: Ranking. Place the traction verticals into three columns:
Column A (Inner Circle): what traction verticals seem most promising right now?
Column B (Promising): which traction verticals seem like they could possibly work?
Column C (Long-shot): which traction verticals seem like long-shots?
Step 3: Prioritizing. Go back through your columns and critically re-think your choices. Try to place your top three traction verticals in column A, the next six in column B, and the rest in column C.
Step 4: Testing. Your top three traction verticals in Column A comprise your inner circle. Devise cheap tests to experiment with them in parallel.
Step 5: Focusing. If one traction vertical from your inner circle shows significant signs of early traction, then you have your winner (for now). Double down on what's working, and wring as much traction as you can from it. If none of the three traction verticals from your inner circle proved successful enough to focus on, go back to Step 1 and start over, incorporating your new-found knowledge (from the other steps).
Why three? Why test in parallel? There are a bunch of nuances in here that we expand upon in the book, but the basic Bullseye framework is pretty straightforward.