Don’t Leap when You Can Pivot
Lean Startups and Customer Development is about eliminating waste.
Mostly this happens when you talk to customers and other shareholders to see if your idea is viable. The earlier you learn that your idea is not viable, the less time you will waste on the idea.
Eliminating waste is a key tenant in lean startup methodology. I’ve recently noticed a trend that adds waste to lean startups, and that is The Leap.
The term pivot has taken a life of its own over the past few months, but leap hasn’t been highly publicized, and may have happened in more instances than the pivot.
A pivot is when you change course based on something you learn. A leap is the equivalent of taking a mid-term exam, crumpling up your testing sheet, tossing it in the garbage, and enrolling in a different course.
You may have learned a few things about your customers, but if you leap to a completely different idea, completely different market, and completely different type of company, you are not using what you have learned. You are not acting on lean startup methodology. You are creating waste.
The next time you scrap a business idea. Consider what you learned during customer development. Maybe there’s a tweak or change you can make based on what you learned. Maybe you can take what you learned, and email it to an entrepreneur in the same market. Just whatever you do, don’t take the things you learned, and turn them into waste. That benefits no one.