How to avoid pivoting with more empathy

How to avoid pivoting with empathy

A word I see thrown around a lot is the word “pivot”.

It’s a word that is glorified thanks to the Lean Startup model and many companies pivot many times. That’s okay. It’s part of any startup’s journey.

But pivoting also has a deeper meaning:

  1. It means your business assumptions up until this point were wrong to some degree. This probably comes through in one of the core business metrics (eg acquisition, growth, retention). If things were great, you wouldn’t need to pivot.
  2. This usually means you don’t completely understand your market or your prospects or your customers. This is the number one reason behind a need to pivot. Solutions address real problems. If you don’t understand the problem, you’ll continue to offer a solution no one wants.
  3. This means you shouldn’t jump to another solution that has its own set of assumptions until you’ve entered a deep research and understanding phase. More conversations with prospects and customers, more feedback loops, more iterations.
Empathy is what is at the heart of it all. The more empathy and understanding you bring, the less you will need to pivot, the less you will need to make assumptions and leaps of faith and the more likely your “pivot” is to succeed so you can finally find product-market fit.

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