pivot_or_persevere

Last week I elaborated on how our hypotheses fared. The markets in my view were giving us a clear message and we had to act.

The initial dream of ‘Amuz Everywhere’ seem to be heading towards ‘Amuz Nowhere’ and incidentally we saw a note in the paper about the Airbus Acceleration Program. We figured out that it might be a good idea to apply for that. Somehow the selection team found us to be good enough fit for their program and we were one of the four startups in what they called as the Airbus BizLab season 1 program. Incidentally we were the oldest startup from an average age perspective. We were given an office space to work for in a prime location in Bangalore and I felt that we were twenty years old for that location which is completed surrounded by pubs!

I will brief about how we fared in that program separately, but here we started to make a mental shift in our thinking.

We said we will stick to what we were good at. The Platform behind Amuz. So our positioning had changed from evolving ‘Amuz’ as a brand to offering an inflight entertainment system to any Airline that wanted it. In that sense we decided to become solution providers rather than providers of the complete service.

We took a clear step backward from evolving ‘Amuz’ as a brand that is recognized by all as ‘Entertainment Everywhere’ to something we felt that we are possibly good at or something that we were capable of.

We pivoted.

Eric Ries , the lean startup guru, defines Pivot as ” A pivot is a “structured course correction designed to test a new fundamental hypothesis about the product, strategy, and engine of growth”

You can read more about Eric Ries says about pivot here.

To Pivot or Persevere is a very important step for any startups.

According to me the Pivot could be owing to a various of subjective and objective reasons, but is an important step where you look at the journey you have made, the traction you are getting, the choices you have exercised, the market forces that are at play , the choices you have in front of you to exercise, and most important the feedback you have got.

The bigger question is ‘Can you get emotionally detached from your idea and evaluate what market is throwing back at you’ ?

The next bigger question is ‘Can you silence your instinct and re-evaluate your vision’?

You might reach a point where your CFO is saying you do not have next month salary to pay the team, your credit line is exhausted, investors are on your neck to make a decision and what will you do ?

Will you Pivot or Persevere ?

It is possible you will not get to this state, but when you are running with an idea, the general tendency is to run and that is the power of an idea that possess you.

Quite frankly, I have not been able to find an objective answer or framework to consider for Pivot or Persevere ? This is one of the stages that can make you, break you  or shape you.

May be one day the right thing will hit me, but for now I can safely say we have Pivoted to be a platform player and if you ask me ‘Why’ , my straight answer would be “My dream had scale. I did not have scale’ and in this round I would have to say I failed in execution.

So after ten weeks, we seem to have covered some ground. Next couple of weeks I shall summarize and possibly give you a digest of what we covered in the ten weeks and help you with simple checklists and resources that can get you to arrive at a ‘Go’ or ‘No Go’ decision in your respective journeys.

Enjoy Maadi (Have Fun)

Zunder