Definition of pivot

When used in relation to entrepreneurship, pivot (which generally refers to a shift in strategy) describes the tortured path that most start-ups go through to find the right customer, value proposition, and positioning.

Eric Ries, the creator of the 'Lean Startup' methodology, reminds us that pivots imply keeping one foot firmly in place as you shift the other in a new direction. In this way, new ventures process what they have already learned from past success and failure and apply these insights in new areas.

Don’t get caught traveling as you jump from idea to idea without absorbing lessons learned along the way

The pivot is often driven by specific customer feedback.  A successful serial entrepreneur once told me, “a business plan is just one way to get close to the customer and figure out what they really want”. That is why it might be most useful to think about a start-up as a continuous process to deliver value to a specific set of customers.


Groupon famously pivoted from their original aim to organise social advocacy campaigns and turned into a billion dollar daily deal site. [1]