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The Awesome Truth About Pivots: Why Evolving Toward Our Startup’s Business Model Was a Great Decision


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While the word "pivot" has been over-used by the press, the simple, humble action of admitting that your business model might change remains a powerful tool. I should know: my company changed business models several times, much to the amusement of my friends and coworkers.

Published in: Business
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The Awesome Truth About Pivots: Why Evolving Toward Our Startup’s Business Model Was a Great Decision

  1. 1. Hi. • John Manoogian III • @jm3
  2. 2. Hi. An unusual background Code leadership design CTO* * *
  3. 3. TheAwesome TruthAboutPivots! @JM3
  4. 4. Confession: I have pivoted more than anyone I know in my career and in my startup.
  5. 5. Showofhands... Who here *wants* their startup to fail? “But… but!”
  6. 6. My condolences in advance.
  7. 7. ? $ $ $howofHand$#2Who here wants to build a billion dollar company?
  8. 8. STARTUPSAREARACEAGAINSTBROKE Since most startups who succeed undergo pivots, an unhealthy aversion to pivots can reduce your chances.
  9. 9. MostSuccessfulStartupspivot Let’s play, “name their original business model…”
  10. 10. Flickr Heroku Instagram Paypal Twitter Youtube Awe$omecompanies pivot chat w photos in-browser coding location-based checkins beam money to Palm Pilots podcast directory video dating site
  11. 11. 140 Proof!
  12. 12. Different pivots unlock different weapons and abilities, like power-ups.
  13. 13. analytics ➤ recommendations long-tail ➤ mad.ave self-serve ➤ full-serve 140 Proof’s pivot evolution:
  14. 14. Pivotingistough Admitting we’re wrong is painful. Doing field surgery on our babies is terrifying.
  15. 15. Wepivotedtoaninvestorfreezone Pivoting our company’s revenue mechanism from self-serve to full- serve coated us in kryptonite. (luckily, it all worked out in the end ;)
  16. 16. A taxonomy of pivot types. 4. customer need 5. zoom in / zoom out 6. growth lever 3. revenue model 2. market 1. technology stack
  17. 17. (windingdown)
  18. 18. howdoyouknowwhenyou havemadeagreatpivot?
  19. 19. • Pivots are positive. Great companies pivot. You can pivot anything. Pivot one thing at a time. Get them beating down your door. (Get those iPhones out.) @JM3
  20. 20. Billion dollar founders are no different from you. They pivoted.
  21. 21. Thanks! @jm3