When should Startups Pivot?

The Practical Whens and Hows, Answered

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Is your business model broken?

One of the most common reasons for pivoting is when you realise that your business model is broken.

Is your product not working?

If you’ve spent months or years developing a product, it can be hard to accept that it just isn’t working. But if you keep putting time and effort into something that isn’t working, then you’re wasting valuable resources.

Is your user base too small?

Another common reason for pivoting is when your user base is too small to generate significant revenue from advertising or subscription fees.

Is your product being used in the wrong way?

Many products are designed to be used in a specific way. If users aren’t using them in this way, then they may not be generating the revenue that you need.

Are users not buying your product?

If users aren’t buying your product, then pivoting could be a good way of addressing this problem. If you can redesign your product or service so that it meets users’ needs better, then you might be able to attract more customers and generate revenue from them. This is often the case with B2C startups — where they need to find large numbers of customers in order to justify their development costs. By changing the way that they target users, or by offering a new service or product instead, they might be able to attract more customers and generate significant revenue from them.

Are users giving negative feedback?

One of the most common reasons for pivoting is when you realise that users don’t like your product or service enough — or they don’t want it at all.

Are users asking for something different?

When users give you negative feedback, it can be hard to accept that they’re right. But if they’re asking for something different, then pivoting could be a good way of addressing this problem.

The right time to pivot

As you can see, there are many reasons for pivoting. So when should you pivot?

How long does a Pivot take?

One of the biggest problems with pivoting is that it can take a long time. It’s not always easy to change your product or service, and it can take a long time to attract new users.

Founder of Cudy Technologies (www.cudy.co), a full-stack EdTech startup helping teachers and students teach and learn better. I am also a mentor and investor.