Know when and how to use the zoom in pivot

The concept of a pivot is hugely popular in the Silicon Valley startup community.  So much so that it has begun to permeate the entire fabric of entrepreneurship around the world.

At it’s core, a pivot is a change in your business model, market, or solution in order to increase the chance that your business will take-off.  For example, one type of pivot is that you could keep your market and solution the same, but change your business model.

Another type of pivot is that your business model and solution stays the same, but you change the market you are going after.

You can figure out the different scenarios you could create around these three pivot points.  But in addition to these scenarios, there are also several more nuanced forms of a pivot.  One of which is the zoom in pivot.

A zoom in pivot is when you take a single feature of your product and then make that feature your entire business.

Andrew chen does a great job elaborating on this idea of zoom in pivot on a blog post he titled Does your product suck? Stop adding new features and “zoom in” instead.  

Chen states the main reason to use a zoom in pivot is if you experience the following scenario:

after a new product is launched, there’s a Trough of Sorrow where features are often added to try to spark traction. After a few months of this, and a few shifts in direction, it’s easy to get a Frankenstein product that tries to do too much.

Chen goes on to give a pretty good overview of how to launch and test the feature you are going to zoom in on.  Check it the full post on his blog.


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