“I have a problem with the word Pivot”

March 30, 2016

To pivot or not to pivot?

Even though there are inspiring stories about successful entrepreneurs that pivoted that persevered on their startup’s mission while nobody else believed them, listening to your users feedback, iterate and test is a basic cycle to achieve the so desired product/market fit.

Nowadays, we can see and hear the word “pivot” on everything that is startup-related, maybe a little too much. The word coined by Eric Ries represents a necessary attitude towards building something that users really want, however it should be done carefully and strategically: You should neither be scared of letting go your initial idea nor run to change everything at the first negative feedback. Test, measure, rethink and plan your iterations.

The fact the word “Pivot” is so easily pronounced kind of gives us the wrong perception of a quick and painless step on a Startup’s normal routine. Far from it:

“I love the result of our pivot. I also love the idea of pivoting. But I have a problem with the word “pivot.” The action sounds surgical, near-instant, and tidy. The actual experience is nothing like that.

Instead, our pivot was more like a weeks-long trudge through a fog of confusion that took lots of hard work and hard choices to emerge from.”

Continue to read Eric Larson’s “What It’s Really Like to Pivot a Startup” experience, also take a look on Eden’s struggle (initially an “Uber for Tech Support”) after being funded, and tell us your point of view or share other stories about pivoting you might know about.