The original business idea isn't working: time to do the pièce de résistance
Did you know that Instagram was originally conceived as a location-based check-in app for sharing plans and hobbies.
Kevin Systrom, the founder of the prototype Instagram met his future business partner Mike Krieger and together they decided to focus specifically on the photo-sharing feature.
The business partners wanted to make the app minimalist, they stripped Burbn down to the photo, commenting and liking functions. At the same time, they renamed their brainchild Instagram, combining the words Instant and Telegram. They also began to focus on improving photo sharing. After eight weeks of setup, they gave the app to friends to test. After fixing the bugs they were pointed out, they launched Instagram on 6 October 2010.
The app had 25,000 users on the first day, with 100,000 people installing Instagram within a week.
In 2012, Facebook acquired the company for $1 billion.
This turnaround of a startup from its original goal, to another, more attractive and probably more successful one, is called a piwet.
What is a pivot
A pivot is a company changing its business strategy in order to adapt to changes in its industry, customer preference or any other factor affecting its profits. Simply put, turning your business around is simply adapting to the current situation in order to increase your chances of success.
A pivot isn't always as radical as Instagram, it can simply be a change in marketing strategy or the way a product is produced, a change in a particular department, product line, service or even mission.
How to know when to pivot
The bepartner team has put together a number of reasons which, when analysed, will help you understand whether you need to make a pièce de résistance.
Some product or service stands out and performs better than others, this is a reason to think about focusing only on it and being as efficient as possible.
What was popular some time ago may not be in demand at all now. Look at what problems your customers are facing now and adapt your offerings to the current situation.
A startup is failing financially. Revisit your business idea honestly and objectively and think about where you could move with the resources you have. Work with what you know best, look for opportunities to change your profile a bit.
Your potential users have not responded to your product in the way you expected, or your customers have lost interest in the product. You may need to look for a new target market. Analyse who continues to use your services, who your new customers are. Focus on meeting their needs.
Your competitors are always ahead of you. You need to understand why this is the case. What have they done to be successful? What are their strengths and how have they leveraged them?
Examples of global brand pivots for your inspiration
Netflix - a streaming platform that started out as a DVD movie rental company.
Amazon - started out as an online bookstore. Now one of the largest marketplaces in the world and a manufacturer of home appliances.
Youtube - started as a dating service, now the most popular video hosting service.