Pivoting a business model to learn from failure

"Lean startups", particularly the type with origins in Silicon Valley, have already learned the lesson from my previous post -- the lesson that that failure is valuable. In fact, I would dare to even say that it has been taken to an extreme by the lean startup world, which consists mostly of software businesses.

With software businesses, particularly internet-based software businesses, it is easy to fail fast. This is optimized by the idea of "pivoting" a business model, as Steve Blank describes it. Starting with an initial hypothesis of what the business model is, the startup team builds a simple version of a product and gets "outside of the building" to test it against real customers in the real world.

I've been following Blank's model somewhat, and the business model has already pivoted once. It was quite painful at the time, because it meant resetting expectations with stakeholders and answering lots of "what's wrong with what we're currently doing" questions. Over the coming quarter we need to look again at what we currently have and figure out if it is really working, or whether we need to learn more from failure. "Pivoting" is such a nicer way to describe it.

Blank points to a great example of how Xobni pivoted five times: