Thoughts on Eship
Changing For Success: The Importance of Pivoting
Starting a company takes more than just time and money, it is an emotional investment. The emotional side of founding a company is essential to staying driven, but it also makes changing the idea or letting it go difficult. Sometimes, changing a business idea is necessary for success. Facebook didn’t start as the social network it is today, it began as a “Hot or Not”
type website. Twitter started as a spinout from an unsuccessful podcasting company. The changes present in both of these wildly successful companies are indicative of the larger phenomenon in the startup world – pivoting. Pivoting is the process of changing the direction of a company. In today’s fast-moving startup environment, those that fail to adapt get overrun, and oftentimes in order to adapt an entire business must change.
Some of my friends who have been working on their own companies for years have seen these companies go through multiple iterations. It is always interesting to hear their stories. The part of this change I am always most impressed with is the amount of diligence and objectivism they have when discussing the change. A project they have spent hundreds of hours developing will sometimes be left on the wayside. Most of these pivots are induced by something I wrote about earlier – listening to customers. Entrepreneurs will realize that their products are not catching on or their customers want something else, and this will lead to a substantial change in the business model.
The process of executing a pivot should be done quickly, but not rashly. It is valuable to save the previous work you have created, because you never know when it will be useful again. Additionally, strong, goal-aligned reasons for the change will help ensure you are making a good decision. Ultimately, there will be risk when making a pivot, but the move is often necessary and can lead to greater growth and success than current plans.