Pivot Buzzword Bingo. If You Are an Entrepreneur, You Know It

Pivot buzzword bingo is already too familiar to you if you are an entrepreneur. If the initial idea didn’t work as expected, you should pivot, shouldn’t you?

Origins of the Word

According to the Webster Dictionary the original meaning of the word is:

1: a shaft or pin on which something turns
2: a person, thing, or factor having a major or central role, function, or effect; a key player or position
3: : the action of pivoting; especially : the action in basketball of stepping with one foot while keeping the other foot at its point of contact with the floor


#Buzzword Bingo: Learn the origin of #Pivot (hint: it was first used in the 14th century, but, no, it didn't mean to change something that wasn't working) - #entrepreneurship #startup Click To Tweet


First Use

14th century

Origin of the Buzzword

Pivot has been used in the buzzword form starting from 2008 when Eric Ries published his famous bestselling book The Lean Startup.

It means “structured course correction designed to test a new fundamental hypothesis about the product, strategy, and engine of growth“.

It implies not only a change of direction but more a sudden, rapid change of direction and focus. It implies that the company is essentially abandoning its previous efforts in order to make a concerted effort towards a new goal.

Translated: when plan A doesn’t work, it’s time for plan B.

Or, as Steve Blank puts it: “changing (or even firing) the plan instead of the executive (the sales exec, marketing or even the CEO)


Playing Pivot Buzzword Bingo. Examples

    – pivot a business model
    – pivot or persevere
    – startup pivot


What You Can Say Instead

If you had enough of pivot, you can replace it with

The initial idea (project, business model, test) didn’t work, it’s time to try something else.




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