While on a panel tonight, an entrepreneur asked me when is the right time to pivot. I spent a bit of time on the answer since I wanted to make sure I gave sound advice (talk about pressure!), but I divided my response to two parts.
I. The decision to pivot is based on gut feel. Data is useful, but data can be erroneously interpreted based on context and bias. Furthermore, data is a great indicator of past patterns, but it’s remarkably bad indicator of future success when you’re creating an innovative product or service.
Rather, trust the gut. Trust that you know your customer, your use case, and the industry enough that a pivot is warranted. But this is the easy part.
2. The hard part is figuring out what to pivot to. This was a slightly more challenging part to answer. Each startup is different, and the options to where to pivot to is limitless.
The only thing filter I could summarize is to pivot towards something that is more aligned to the team’s expertise, and to something that leverages learnings pre-pivot, whether it’s a specific technology or industry.
This second part is something I’ll need to spend more time with.