A pivot is when you make a
massive change in your
Pivoting is sometimes crucial for business for:
• Keeping in-tune with the rapid pace of change
• Pursuing new opportunities to expand revenue
• Reinvigorating a business
Three signs you might need to pivot:
• Your target customers are not praising your product
nor buying rapidly enough
• Investors aren’t buying your product or your
• You’re product is too broad or too limited
Below you will find a
list of some of the
business pivots ever.
The most legendary pivot in social
media history is the transformation
of Odeo, a network where people
could find and subscribe to podcasts
to a status-updating micro-blogging
platform called Twitter.
Catalyst: iTunes added podcast
making Odeo obsolete
PayPal was initially an early
application allowing PDA
devices to “beam” payments
before it became the preferred
online payment system for eBay
sellers then the internet.
Catalyst: A merger with a
financial services company
X.com identified new
The Point was a fundraising
site that only funded causes
once donations reached a
certain number. A side project
called Groupon was tested
locally to see if the concept
could be used in marketing.
Catalyst: Need for new
Nokia made rubber goods,
In 1992 they made their first
mobile phone and decided to
focus exclusively on mobile
devices, selling off all other
Catalyst: Projected market
The online role-playing game
“Game Neverending” had a photo-
sharing tool which turned out to
be the most popular aspect of the
game. The company decided to
leverage this photo popularity and
pivot to Flickr.
Catalyst: User feedback.
HP made electrical testing
products, but in 1968 introduced
the first large-scale PC. When the
PC market caught fire in the 1990’s
, HP separated the testing
equipment into a new company to
solely focus on PC’s.
Catalyst: Pace of change.
Nintendo produced playing cards,
vacuum cleaners, instant rice, a taxi
company and a short-stay hotel chain.
In 1966 it started producing electronic
games and consoles and shortly after
decided to focus solely on that.
Catalyst: Need for revenue growth.
Burbn, a check-in app that included
gaming elements and a photo element
was rebuilt as a version of the app that
focused solely on photography called
Catalyst: Burbn wasn’t getting traction.
Fabulis was a social network site
targeted towards gay men. The
most popular part of the site
was the highlighting of products,
so they decided to take a totally
new direction start selling those
items on Fab.com.
Catalyst: Need for revenue.
Pinterest was born from the Tote
application that allowed people to
browse and shop their favorite
retailers. Users were mostly
interested in building and sharing
“collections” of their favorite
Catalyst: Need for growth; user
Suzuki was best knownas theinventor and
purveyorofweaving loom machinesthat
powered Japan’s silk industry.In the interest
ofdiversification Suzuki prototyped a
compact car, leading them tofocus onthe
Starbucks began in 1971
selling espresso makers and
coffee beans. Later Howard
Schultz decided to pivot the
business to resemble
Catalyst: New vision.
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and executives to create plans to grow
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