Rebekah Campbell is feeling equally excited and exhausted by the mid-June launch date of her website, Posse. Itâ€™s third time lucky for the start-up.
â€œIt feels different to the other product launches,â€ she says with a smile but with her head resting on her hand. â€œWeâ€™ve learnt so much every time.â€
Neither of the two previous versions were total flops. But both had their own problems. Campbell, driven to not lose the more than $2.7 million she has raised from two angel investment rounds, has steered the company through two major changes of direction. In the industry lingo, this is a pivot. A cynical observer might call it a failure but in start-up land, it is applauded. A pivot, executed well, is a mark of an entrepreneurâ€™s insight and maturity that they can identify a problem and have the nous and courage to adapt.
In the beginning, entrepreneurs should write down a series of â€œguessesâ€ about their product, the founder of start-up accelerator Startmate, Niki Scevak, says. This may include who are the best customers, how much theyâ€™ll pay or how difficult they will be to find. Once a product is built there should be a process of â€œtesting and observing how they do and donâ€™t use the productâ€, he says. â€œPivoting is the reaction after going through that cycle and seeing if a lot of your guesses are wrong or right.â€