I grew up in the 90s watching a lot of football. Barry Sanders was the legendary Detroit Lions running back that seemed to perform miracles on the field. His ability to pivot on a dime would shake entire defenses and before they even knew what happened he’d be in the end zone scoring another touchdown – it was remarkable to watch.
Thinking back years later I feel I have a much greater appreciation for his abilities because through my own work I’ve realized how powerful it is to be able to pivot.
Pivoting is not uncommon in the world of product. However, achieving success after you pivot is less common than it should be. Pivoting is a good thing if you do it for the right reasons. It’s a strategy you can use to modify your value proposition or target market in an effort to find product-market fit.
A BIG reason many product companies fail is the solution they’ve chosen (typically software) is too rigid and inflexible making it near impossible to change when new opportunities are identified. However, if you instead chose to build a productized service first, then your solution is just series of steps in a procedure. Those steps can be changed VERY quickly which enables you to maintain your momentum on the way to product-market fit.
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Once you have product-market fit and your value proposition has been validated, then you can automate further through software to reach greater scale.
Give your product the ability to pivot like my man Barry Sanders and you’ll reach the end zone too.
PS. For some of those awesome Barry Sanders highlights check out this video.