Business pivots involve strategic shifts in a company’s direction, prompted by various factors. These changes represent significant departures from previous strategies and have led to remarkable turnarounds for struggling firms.
Read more: Is Pivoting Your Business All That Bad?
Let’s look at some of the most successful pivots in history:
Year of pivot: 2007
Valuation in 2022: 988.9M
Valuation in 2023: 876.6M
Netflix exemplifies a successful business pivot in the online realm. From a DVD delivery service to a streaming giant, it’s now synonymous with binge-worthy original series. While many associate Netflix solely with streaming, it started by mailing DVDs to homes.
Recognizing the decline in DVD viewing years back, Netflix gradually shifted to streaming, capitalizing on changing consumer habits. This shift brought stability while they adapted. Today, owning a DVD player is rare; streaming on various devices is the norm.
Moreover, Netflix didn’t stop at streaming. They foresaw the need for diverse content and became a production powerhouse, offering a significant chunk of available shows and movies. Their ability to adapt to evolving markets and cater to tech-savvy consumers makes them a prime example of successful pivoting in response to demand.
Year of pivot: 2006
Valuation in 2022: $38.17B
Originally named “Odeo,” this startup aimed to make podcasts accessible. Now, it’s a go-to microblogging hub known as Twitter. Renowned for sharing ideas, news, and entertainment, it’s deeply embedded in social and political spheres.
When Apple debuted iTunes, Odeo swiftly shifted gears. It transformed into a platform for real-time updates on users’ activities. The Twitter we know today emerged in 2006, solidifying its place in our political and social history.
However, since Wlon Musk took over, X’s internal valuation dropped by approximately 56% in the past year, signaling a notable decline in its value.
Valuation in 2023: $19 billion
Year of pivot: 2010
Valuation in 2023: $47B
Instagram, born as Burbn, initially facilitated check-ins at users’ favorite spots alongside photo sharing. Co-Founder Kevin Systrom initially conceived it as a part-time coding project.
Recognizing the widespread popularity of photo sharing, Systrom revamped the app, giving rise to Instagram. Within two years, Facebook recognized its potential and acquired Instagram for a staggering $1 billion.
Companies must act decisively when undertaking a business pivot. Regardless of whether your business is a modern app or a traditional brick-and-mortar store, the key to sustained success lies in maintaining agility. Stay prepared to elevate your strategies and remain open to innovative models that could pave the way for your next triumph.
Enjoyed the article? Read Part II: A List of Businesses That Did Well After a Pivot