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Startup Advice

The Things that Startup Founders Need to Know Before Pivoting

In the startup world, growth in the early stages is crucial. If there is absolutely no change in a certain period of time, for example three to six months, then it’s time to consider pivots. But, wait. Do you know what is a pivot in startup?

A book The Lean Startup defines pivots are “structured corrections designed to test fundamentally new hypotheses about products, strategies and growth engines.” Thus, pivots usually occur when companies make fundamental changes to their business after determining (usually through market research) that their products do not meet the desired market needs, known as product market fit (investing.com).

For example, you know Instagram, right? Who would have thought that this widely used social media was the result of a pivot. Previously, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, Co-Founders of Instagram, had a product called Burbn. This ancestor of Instagram presented so many features. From sharing photos to checking in locations. However, Burbn failed because of its unfocused and too many features. So, they choose to zoom in pivot with various considerations. 

For those who don’t know, zoom in pivot is a pivot method that focuses on a few products and chooses to retain features that are mostly used by users (id.techinasia.com). The result of this zoom in pivot is a product that you are now familiar with on Instagram. The results of their pivots are proven to provide better quality and increase income. Now the question is, what kind of conditions are experienced by startups that have to do a pivot? This is a suggestion as quoted from id.techinasia.com:

  1. When a startup does not growth after trying everything possible.
  2. When scenario doesn’t work. Usually profit from sales of products/services, or growth in the number of users, don’t fit the scenario.
  3. When things happen outside the will. For example, an investor suddenly retreated halfway.

Pivoting isn’t something to be embarrassed. In fact pivot is actually able to save your business, so that it can adapt to the market and save the people in it. Changes that affect business will always occur in line with market conditions. Startup founders must not be careless and must always be sensitive to innovations in the market or those made by competitors.

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