Dec 11, 2012

To Pivot or not to Pivot?

The key feature to optimal entrepreneurship is to know when to pivot; i.e when to change strategy without loosing hold of the end vision. Properly measuring the current performance, not future one, without relying on made-up ROI's, and building on that learning experience, will put a project in a better situation to succeed. 

This does not apply only to Silicon Valley start-ups, but also on way more complicated projects with unexpected outcomes, like parenthood. Christmas is around the corner, and our end vision is to achieve a Gingerbread cookie house. But if we analyze the purpose, our vision is really to delight our end user, Miss Cupcake, with a fun, Christmas flavored experience.  

Now, we could use the 'perfect parent' approach, setting out from scratch; innovating the product by a new, daring 2.0 design, improving on the process of making the cookies and perfect the assembly process to achieve a spectacular Gingerbread cookie house on all platforms, including smart phones.

However, there is a crucial factor to consider; we need to engage the end user from the very start. If Miss Cupcake, known for her short attention span, does not sign-up when we pitch the idea to her, the perfection of the process to reach the end product does not matter. She will not engage and our product fail.  

So we took the correct decision, and pivoted. It was risky but necessary. So we simply bought a pre-made Gingerbread cookie house, and achieved our end vision; a fun family moment. And cleaning up was faster. 

Eric Ries, author of 'The Lean Start-up', talked at Yahoo! today. Very interesting stuff. If you are an entrepreneur, or a parent, or both, you should check it out.

If not, at least the 'product management' jargong is entertaining.

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