When faced with changing market conditions, aggressive competitors or superior competitors, what do  you do?  Do you continue in the same direction or can you pivot?  Change your strategy, maybe even your core product offering?

In a recent post, Seth Godin makes a compelling argument for why Kindle needs to pivot, changing from a premium product model to a low cost leader in the face of overwhelming competition from iPad.  He says:

The only way to get authors and publishers to embrace this device is to sell 20,000,000 of them. You either become the best and only platform for consuming books worth buying or you fail. And the only way to create that footprint in the face of an iPad is to make it so cheap to buy and use it’s irresistible.

Small business owners often get stuck, married to a concept because it was where they started, but time and time again we see successful businesses pivoting.  For example from a presentation by Kristian Andersen, I learned:

  • Flickr started out as a game
  • YouTube was a dating site
  • Paypal was going to beam money to Palm Pilots

What about you?  Are you stuck?  Has the market moved away from you, like the shift from ice blocks to refrigerators. or is there simply better competition?

At roundpeg, I started out with the idea of training managers to build successful teams to implement effective strategies.  There was no market, so I pivoted, and took my planning tools to small business owners.  If I hadn’t pivoted, I would be stuck at a desk job somewhere.  I am glad I can pivot!