How Did The Great Startups Like Airbnb or Instagram Make Pivot Decisions? | VC Remote Jobs & More
How to Decide When To Pivote? | How one can build a conviction over an idea? By Sam Altman | VC Remote Jobs
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How Did The Great Startups Like Airbnb or Instagram Make Pivot Decisions?
Pivoting in the business world has become a bit of a buzzword, hasn't it?
It's almost like a shiny badge of honour that some wear proudly. The whole concept revolves around changing course when things aren't going as planned, and there are people out there who actually brag about how many times they've pulled off a pivot. But let's just pause for a moment and really think about what this means.
Pivoting, in essence, is a sign that things didn't go according to plan, in simple words - it’s a failure!
It's a recognition that the initial strategy or idea didn't pan out as expected. And you're right, failure is undeniably part and parcel of the entrepreneurial game. It's important to be tolerant of failure, not holding it against anyone, and certainly not turning it into a celebration.
However, there's a fine line between acknowledging failure and glorifying it as a success. Some entrepreneurs proudly wear the badge of multiple pivots, almost boasting about how many times they've changed direction.
But here's the thing – pivoting a startup is sucks, plain and simple.
The focus should be on learning from it and avoiding the repetition of the same mistakes, rather than treating it as a badge of honour.
Great startups, the ones that truly succeed, don't necessarily see pivoting as a badge of honour. They view it as a learning experience that contributes to building a potentially successful business.
Not all pivots are created equal, and the distinction lies in the reasons behind them.
If you look at some great startups that pivot you will find that - there are two types of pivots that tend to be more successful and make total sense.
First, there's the pivot where the founder ends up building something they were passionate about from the start.
Take Instagram's Kevin Systrom, for example. His initial venture, Bourbon, wasn't working out. During a vacation, he built something he was genuinely passionate about—photography with filters. This pivot worked because it aligned with his true interests.
The second type of pivot that makes sense is born out of necessity.
Consider Airbnb's founders during the financial crisis. They were broke, maxed out credit cards, using plastic sheets to keep track of them—real desperation. In this dire situation, they rented out a spare room to make ends meet. This pivot was out of sheer survival, and it worked. Today, Airbnb is known for more than just spare rooms; it's a significant player in affordable housing.
However, the common type of pivot, where founders sit down, realize their startup isn't working, and brainstorm a new idea on a whiteboard, rarely succeeds.
Why? Well, if you're rushing to come up with an idea, chances are it won't be a good one. Moreover, if you already have investors, you need a plausible-sounding idea to present to them.
It's fine to have a good idea that initially sounds bad, but pivoting into such an idea is tougher.
In essence, while pivoting is a tool in an entrepreneur's toolkit, it's crucial to approach it with a balanced perspective, recognizing that not all pivots are created equal and that the true measure of success lies in the lessons learned and the strategic adjustments made.
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𝕏 Featured Tweet: How Can One Build Conviction Over An Idea?
One of the most common questions that every founder has is how to build a conviction over an idea. In the early stage - it’s extremely important to get a strong idea of whether this thing will work out or not. So Sam Altman shared an interesting perspective on this.
Recently, we shared a tweet On This! Check it out here 👇
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