3 reasons being willing to pivot can boost your startup
Captain’s Log, Stardate 10.14.2020
From Lean Startup by Eric Reís,
“[Pivoting] is what makes the companies that follow Lean Startup resilient in the face of mistakes: if we take a wrong turn, we have the tools we need to realize it and the agility to find another path.”
I love this quote because it helps us understand why willingness to pivot is so important. Pivoting is not always easy. It can take time and money to change the direction of your startup, even in small ways. It can also be somewhat ego-bruising realizing that we have to make changes that we didn’t foresee. But though pivoting is not easy, the willingness to pivot is vital to the success of a startup. Why is that?
Your idea might not be the unicorn you think it is
When starting, it’s easy to feel that your idea is the golden egg. The next big thing. But the reality is that rarely is your initial idea, or execution of an idea, what gets permanent traction.
I love this quote Eric Reís makes in his book Lean Startup.
“When I address groups of entrepreneurs at college business plan competitions or other venues, I often talk about their eventual need to pivot. This certainly surprises them, because they usually think their initial idea is perfect. Such conversations lead to blunt reality checks for entrepreneurs who need to reconsider their plans.”
Instagram is a great example of a company that pivoted. The makers of Instagram’s original app was Burbn. It had a lot of features and was too complex, so it didn’t gather much traction. But what they discovered is that people were using the sharing image feature like crazy. And so what did they do? They pivoted. And they pivoted hard.
They built an entirely new app, Instagram. And look at what happened because of it.
The reaction of your customers is not what you anticipated
At first, you might have thought that people would be down to spend money on your product. Now you have a ton of customers, but very few are paying. What do you do? Consider pivoting.