The Pivot Cometh...

... for your People, the Product, and the Playbook.

Hey friend,

I shared a few high-level thoughts on pivoting / restarting my startups in this newsletter over here which you might find fascinating (or not).

Now… why I was even thinking about this topic in the first place?

Well, that was because my previous venture — Pinpoint — has officially pivoted from an engineering analytics platform to one serving the future of work.

And watching that team (and the founder that stayed) go through hell (and back again) to “right the ship” after a large amount of fundraising has been educational, inspiring, and confirmed what I already know to be true: The Pivot Cometh.

I still remember the original post that Jeff shared after we raised our first round of institutional financing (we’d go on to raise > $16M+):

I had ideas about our future together and I had dreams of what could be but I eventually resigned because I got in the way of their success. I pivoted myself and then the business, eventually, had to pivot as well.

But let’s be more precise, shall we? There are 3 types of functional pivots that need to happen for a “full pivot” to be truly realized:

  1. Pivot the product

  2. Pivot the people

  3. Pivot the playbook(s) / process(es)

If you pivot only 1 or 2 out of the 3 then you’re fucked as the only way to successfully pivot is to consider all three vectors and make sure that you’ve truly divorced yourself from anyone, anything, and any process that is creating psychological or emotional drag.

Then, you can fully pivot and proceed to the next major milestone.

When I pivoted YEN for the 3rd time I had to reduce our headcount from 19 to 1, I changed then entire product from a decentralized cryptocurrency social network to a platform for building community, and I had to change every major process within the organization, establishing a brand new set of operating virtues.

I pivoted the people, the product, and the playbook. All of them. You must. It was an entire cultural sweep. And, here’s the sad news: I didn’t pivot all three for all of those previous ventures thus short-circuiting what I believe could have been even bigger outcomes if we had done them better.

Food for thought; love you all. To infinity & community

— john