Be Ready to Pivot – It Can Change Everything


What do Twitter, Instagram and Starbucks have in common?

They are all companies that made major changes one time or another, catapulting them into the soul-sucking entities they are today (yes, nearly all of us are addicted to each one). And while we’re talking about addiction, we can throw Nintendo in the mix as well. These companies made a change in strategy that executives will forever bow to.

Starbucks began selling espresso machines, Nintendo sold household appliances, Twitter was a platform made to find podcasts. Now these names are some of the most well-known names around the globe, and they are doing something different. All it took was just a good pivot or two.

Yes, these are very extreme examples, but the practice is very scalable. No matter what business, no matter what size, it’s important to be a little malleable and open-minded. When the time comes to pivot, plant your foot and make your next move.

Martin Ambrose, CEO of Shoplogix, knows this story quite well. Ambrose laid his first brick in 2002 based on the idea of making manufactures more efficient. Shoplogix provides a technology that allows for a homogeneous reporting layer across any manufacturing organization. No, it’s not Nintendo or Twitter, but Shoplogix’s presence is felt among thousands of tier-one automotive manufacturing plants around the world.

“We’ve pivoted this business five times and by that I mean we’ve adjusted the strategy of this business,” said Ambrose.

“Our most recent pivot was about four years ago, when we moved the business from traditional license-based model to being a SaaS business. We now exclusively and 100 percent sell SaaS to our customer base.”

SaaS or Software as a Service is quickly becoming a necessity in the tech world, and most of today’s top software companies (Apple, Adobe, Microsoft, etc.) have either launched with it, or made the pivot towards utilizing it. Shoplogix, as a result of making that pivot, is reaping the benefits that an on-premise installation model couldn’t provide.

“I won’t go into the numbers, but from a growth perspective, our growth is in excess of 50 percent annually,” Said Ambrose, who mans a staff of 35 employees.

But as a young company, with changes happening quicker than the days themselves, how do you position your fort?

Act Quick, Act Smart

“I would recommend that any young business goes through the process of minimum and viable product, so don’t try to build everything and try to be all things to all people, you’ll be forever in the process of development.”

“You need to build a minimum viable product and take that product to market, it kind of falls into that scenario – build, measure, learn. Do that as rapidly and as fast as you can, and when I say rapidly, I mean daily or weekly.”

Your Fate Is in Your Troops

“Hire well, hire the right people. Take your time doing it. You need to be able to trust those people. You want to be friends with them, you’re going to be putting in long hours over the years.”

“I think the key to any successful business is that it is built on the basis of trust and you need to be accessible. Trust is so important, take a look at your own life. Any relationship you have had with anybody, your partner, your parents, your businesses, without trust you have nothing.”

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