Post(s) tagged with "pivoting"
To pivot is, essentially, to fail gracefully. While the term has been in the start-up lexicon for decades, it is coming up more often in the current Internet boom, as entrepreneurs find that many investors are willing to keep the money flowing even if a start-up takes a hard left turn.
“Ideas are like lightning in a bottle, so if the company is small enough and didn’t seem to capture lightning on their first try, it makes sense to try again,” said Ben Horowitz, one of the founders of the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. “The art of the pivot is to do it fast and early. The older and bigger the business, the harder it is to change directions.”
Mr. Horowitz speaks from experience: A decade ago, he went through a pivot of Loudcloud, a publicly traded enterprise services firm that he founded with Marc Andreessen, into Opsware, a networking software company. “That was very public and very scary,” he said. “We dropped down to 35 cents on the Nasdaq, and although we went back up to $14, it took awhile. When you’re a small company, no one really notices if you make a big change.”
- Jenna Wortham, For Some Internet Start-Ups, a Failure Is Just the Beginning - NYTimes.com
The use of the term ‘pivot’ in startupland is the corollary to the now commonplace notion that you may have to fail in order to learn a life lesson. While this has become conventional wisdom, startup founders are reluctant to admit their baby is ugly, or that massive success is not going to come with the next release. The adoption of pivoting is a great metaphorical headshift, and it’s one great example of ambient innovation: the startup scene has adopted, applied, and spread the concept of pivoting, and that has had major impacts on founders willingness to junk weak ideas.
Web anthropologist, futurist, author. My focus is the future, and the tectonic forces pushing business, media, and society into an unclear and accelerating future. (More.)
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