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Pivot or Fail? – AVC

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I’ve heard startup teams announce that they are pivoting as if it was the next natural step in their plan. That’s never made sense to me. A pivot is recognizing that the original path doesn’t work, and pivoting to a new path.

So my view is if you’ve failed, accept it, announce it, and deal with it. Shut the business down, give back the cash, and rip up the cap table. Then do whatever you want to do next. If it is another startup, do it from scratch and keep as much of it as you can. If it is something else, well then do that too.

I’m surprised Wilson doesn’t highlight to me the main reason people pivot instead of doing what he suggests — to avoid failure. If you pivot, sure there are some downsides, but you didn’t fail, you pivoted. Neat! Do it a couple more times and still, no failure. If you actually do what is suggested here you have to acknowledge the thing you are avoiding at all costs.

Posted on November 20, 2018

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