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…you have taken a leap of faith and you are committed to your significant vision. You have been iterating towards your burning desire but results are disappointing, despite some metrics that are doing quite well.

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{{{wish full}}}

To avoid getting stuck in the land of the living dead.


  • some metrics are doing quite well;
  • overall, results and returns disappoint;
  • the more money, time, and creative energy has been sunk into an idea, the harder it is to pivot—avoid that trap;
  • you value an end with pain over pain without end;
  • accepting that the implementation of your idea is failing is easier when you have actionable metrics for each leap of faith;

A pivot requires

  • to keep one foot in what you have learned so far, while making an a fundamental change in strategy in order to seek even greater validated learning;
  • a leap of faith.

Keep on pivoting if while your innovation accounting tells you so. You will probably need to do a series of pivots until your metrics tell you that you are on the right track and show healthy and sustainable numbers of revenue and return.


{{{therefore full}}}

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Strategies below actually pivot around one of many dimensions of the original product vision and business captured in your lean canvas and hoshin kanri. When the lifting is simply too heavy, consider one of the following pivots:

  • zoom-in pivot to refocus product development on just one successful feature of the larger whole.
  • customer segment pivot to jump up your revenue and return by maximising value creation.
  • platform pivot to refocus all energy on a different business model while keeping the product almost the same.

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Pivots require courage

Courage, one of the key values in eXtreme Programming—Kent Beck, is essential when taking a pivot as:

  1. vanity metrics rob teams of the belief that it is necessary to change;
    • people, when eventually forced to change against their better judgement, will suffer a harder, longer process with less decisive outcomes;
  2. it is almost impossible to experience complete failure with unclear hypotheses:
    • you will always ‘succeed’—without failure there is usually no impetus to embark on the radical change a pivot requires;
    • you will not know whether to pivot or persevere;
  3. many people are afraid and acknowledging ‘failure’ can lead to dangerously low morale.