Business Execution · Business Strategy

Pivots vs Changing course?

Yana Podskrebalina QA Test Engineer at Woact Company

July 7th, 2017

Often find that some people misunderstand the difference between a pivot and just doing something different. How does someone know that their action is truly a pivot, when to pivot, and how to decide between possible pivots?

Steve Willson Questioner, Collaborator, Believer in Customer Understanding, Facilitation and Planning

July 7th, 2017

A pivot is doing something different...just not completely different. As a pivot rotates around a fixed place, it's a change in direct where you stay centered around some part of your original Business Model. So you may be addressing a different problem for the same group of customers, or solving the same problem for a different customer segment.

You pivot when your original hypothesis about some aspect of your business is invalid. For example, you believed that all sixth grade students would love to write using blue pencils. When you went to observe the sixth grade, you found that they all used tablets, but were finding it difficult to use the adult sized devices. When you asked them about additional writing choices, they almost all felt that pencils were out of date. So your original idea sucks! But now you are thinking, how might we make their tablet experience better?

Possible pivots might be smaller tablets, cases which were easier to handle...or something else.

How to decide...first go back to the original interviews and see if the case looks like it will solve the problem. If so, prototype and test.

What about the smaller tablet? Think about technical aspects, etc.

So what pivot to try, it depends.

Hope this helps,


h a entroprounership

July 9th, 2017

How do you help startups in a complicated and unstable internal and international environment which sorounds you?


July 7th, 2017

A pivot is when you still have a back foot firmly in place. A complete change, in my opinion, is required when I’m on the floor and both feet are off the ground. In either case, change is growth. The pain of the stimuli is circumstance dependant.

Chris Paine "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world" - Nelson Mandela

July 9th, 2017

I'm not an expert by a by means but as a layman I see a pivot as going in the same direction but with slight changes in the angle but always progressing forward with at least one solid anchor connected to the original product.

Chainging direction is just like saying "oh well **** it, let's try this then..."

I am probably incorrect but that's how I understand that term.

Kyle Black Founder

July 10th, 2017

I don't think this thread is beneficial to anyone.