Referencing one of the funniest scenes in Friends and a line that I would say gets dropped the most when moving …. pivot pivot! Pivoting in business is something we should be open to.
What is a pivot? A pivot can be a change in strategy, shift in positioning, finding the right customer. It can be based on research or sometimes it’s following your instinct and experimenting.
While it’s good to have a goal to focus on, we shouldn’t shut out ideas just because they don’t fit with our original goals. Some of the biggest companies today pivoted in their original business goal.
In 2007 Andrew Mason launched The Point, a site for gathering people together who wanted to mobilise groups of people towards action for various causes or collaborate on projects. It did ok, until a group of users decided their cause would be saving money and from that the company pivoted to focus on group buying and Groupon was born.
In 2009 Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger started a check-in project called Burbn. They originally created the site to share what they were drinking. They realised their project had become too similar to FourSquare when they decided to pivot and focus on the photo sharing aspect and ended up becoming Instagram.
In 2005 early PayPal employees that had made some money when eBay acquired PayPal, wanted to build a video dating service like Hot or Not. Nobody wanted to use it but loads of videos were uploaded, so they focused on the sharing of videos online and became YouTube.
It’s ok that your original idea may change. The key to success in pivoting is looking for the part that is useful to people and asking does it solve the problem that exists for your users?