30 Apr The Art of a Startup Pivot From a Founder – CTO Point of View
Here’s an excellent article on the art of a startup pivot by Yann Lechelle, a startup founder with direct experience in pivoting. I particularly like the way that Yann breaks down the affects and responsibilities of pivoting on what he calls the three main pillars; Product, HR and Capital.
“Pivots are a fact of life in the startup world. Yet, very few founders, especially first-time founders, will provision for it. The founder mindset is typically focused on a single go-to-market strategy. The investors are sold on the potential based on that initial strategy, signing off a budget calibrated accordingly. Everyone sings the same tune until the shareholders realize, hopefully before it’s too late, that the strategy is going nowhere, and that a radical change is required. This scenario occurs more often than not, over 65% of the time according to Fred Wilson.
The product initially defined by the founders typically emanates from a global vision. In some cases, founders will start with the product and later realize, on their own or with external help, that there is a greater vision. Either way, the team must strive to work towards the greater vision, and consider that the product itself is just a means for achieving a greater goal. This serves two distinct purposes: pitch investors at a higher level of ambition (helps with the valuation), but most importantly, helps the product and engineering team build a category of assets that will be reusable when pivoting the product within the general framework of their vision.”