Category: Pivot

“Do one thing well” – Chinese Proverb

“We have a platform technology” was the way the entrepreneur described her company idea.  Investors love to hear that your idea could benefit more than one market but it comes with a curse.  It tends to make the entrepreneur opportunistic.  Opportunism is the enemy of focus.

If, during your customer discovery process, you come across a new market that is very attractive, you might choose to pivot.  But understand this; a pivot is a move in a different direction which means you stop going down the path you did before.

You will spend 60 – 100% of the time and effort to develop your market and business model as you did developing the product itself.  As a startup, it’s really hard to do more than one.

Pivot means CHANGE DIRECTION, not stay the course plus add one.


Blogging Gazelle is published daily by Shawn Caroson


“Failure is not falling down but refusing to get up.” – Chinese Proverb

Mr. Proverb seems to be a smart guy.

A startup is a lot about failures.  Your success depends on it.  You will find out much more about what doesn’t work than what does and much of that has nothing to do with customers and their needs, (but of course there is that…).

You will run into difficulties with suppliers, partners, and investors.  You will have issues with intellectual property, licensing and other negotiations.  You will have employee issues and you may have to fire key people.  You will face financial pressures and you may have to downsize.  Then there’s the economy and the federal government.

You will fall down a lot but the point is to always get back up skinned knees and all.  We have a nice term for it now.  We call it a “pivot”.  Each pivot makes you smarter and stronger.  Embrace them.

Blogging Gazelle is published daily by Shawn Carson


“What you think is going to happen in the marketplace almost never does.” – Chuck Witkowski

There is only one way to know 100% how the market will react to your product. That is to get in the game and sell something. Market research and customer discovery, at best, can only hedge your bet.

So don’t waste your time and limited cash perfecting your product. Sell your prototype and then react to the feedback.

Save your powder for your pivots.

“What is very dangerous is not to evolve” – Jeff Bezos

Pivoting is another word for “rapid evolution”. You have to be in touch with your market constantly because technology changes. Our culture changes. Public opinion changes. The government changes.

These changes create opportunities for the disrupters.

But it’s also a threat for the startup. The window for your great idea may only stay open for a few months. You need to get there quickly.

Once you get traction, you need to be vigilant for what’s next.

A friend started a great little company based on a BtoB cell phone texting platform. Within 2 years, Smart phones arrived rendering them obsolete overnight.

It can happen in a flash.