As a non-technology founder building a technology business, whatever you do “big picture” like if you want to raise investment or if you want to scale through cashflow, people say you need to get traction, but what is “traction”.
Notionally this is easy to understand – you have some kind of forward motion, but I quite like simple rules and tests that you can apply to situations to define them properly.
For me, you’ve got traction when you’re raising invoices.
If you want a slightly tighter definition, you can say that it’s when you’re raising invoices and you have a reasonable expectation of them being paid. Because otherwise you can cheat.
The reason why this is a decent rule is that it acts to signal that you may/probably have found product-market fit. And this is your ultimately goal.
Of course, to know whether you really have found product-market fit, you need to see enough invoices get issues such that you’re confident those first ones going out of the door are not a fluke.