What a pivot looks like from the inside

What a pivot looks like from the inside

For the past week we debated whether or not we should pivot. We did not intend to change our company’s product but rather to follow a new direction we planned for further down the road.

Pivot has become a very popular word in the entrepreneurship world since Eric Reis started pitching the “Lean Startup Methodology”. As I’ve written many times I’m a big believer in the “lean way” and we are trying to run our startup as a “lean startup”.

Another important fact that is relevant to mention is that the Startup Genome Report has indicated that startups which pivot often have a higher rate of failure. Obviously, we don’t want to fail, but we had to deal with some tough questions:

  • Is this the right time to pivot?
  • Did we get enough feedback?
  • What if we are wrong?

After building our MVP (Minimal Valuable Product) we started working with a number of customers. We collected feedback and started to analyze it. I’m not sure if you could call it a pivot but we did a semi-pivot in our company and this is what happened:

We analyzed the feedback collected from customers and other relevant people. After taking a hard look at ourselves we found a few problems. So what happens next? You walk with a strange feeling inside and you are not sure why. You try to repress it and continue with your original plan. After a few days I decided to say something and found out that most of the team agreed there is a better way.

After that, of course, came a sleepless night where I thought of about 100 different ways we could do things differently. The next day we discussed the best option possible and started planning. Not a new plan, but a different one. This last weekend was dedicated to planning the R&D and marketing effects of the change. Everyone understood what needed to be done and we are now in the middle of executing our new plan as fast as possible.

I’m not sure if we are going the right way but I always remind myself of what Paul Graham once said, it went something like “A good entrepreneur knows how to find his/her way against the current”. I just hope this is what we’re doing.

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