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June 26, 2018

Do You Hold Too Long?

Kate Winslet sure didn’t have that problem…

Surely you’ve experienced the end of the honeymoon stage. You start to notice little things, and big things, that under any other circumstance would be deal breakers. Small habits, character deficiencies, vastly differing viewpoints that bliss previously caused you to overlook.

The same goes for our products, services, and professional lives. While perseverance is an honorable trait, sometimes doubling-down is not the best path forward.

So, this week, we’re asking, when is it too late to let go?

What’s the Problem?
In describing the evolution of Square at Haiti Tech Summit 2018, Jack Dorsey explained that asking the question behind the question served as the right mindset shift to transition Square from a mere credit card reader to a company that uses technology to help people make more sales.   So instead of asking, “do people need this?“, ask “why do people need it?” Do it again and again as many times as takes to find your best “why”. When you solve for the problem behind the problem, the value proposition you offer not only becomes more innovative, but more resilient to changing market dynamics. 

The Opportunity to Fail
Your first idea is rarely your best idea. Indeed, many of the most successful tech companies—Twitter, Groupon, Square and Instagram to name a few only experienced a meteoric rise after making a pivot. In fact, Dorsey explained, Twitter was a 30-year idea designed to track dispatch data. It only became truly marketable when it incorporated the human factor — that is the functionality for people to make it their own. Does your product have a people plan? If not, perhaps this missing element is a source of failure for good, and the prime opportunity to recalibrate.

The Red Zone
Though not quite the look and feel of Total Recall, you’ve when you’ve entered the Red Zone, there are certain cues you ought not to ignore. Experts from Forbes offer a handy checklist for when it’s time let go and pivot:

  • You can’t see a viable path to further growth
  • Your customers and employees are leaving you
  • What you’re offering is no longer relevant
  • You’re no longer seeing results from the things that made you successful
  • Your people, process or profits are declining
  • You’re no longer serving your target market

If any (or all) of the above strike a chord; STOP.  Do not pass go.  And, please, start putting the pieces in motion for your next move.

Let us know: In what areas should you make a pivot?


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