When Should Businesses Pivot?

Vani Kola
3 min readJun 30, 2021

Some of the most successful startups are an outcome of various business pivots.

Airbnb began by renting mattresses. Slack was initially a video game. Twitter started off as a podcasting platform.

Recognizing when to pivot is an essential skill that all entrepreneurs must develop.

My recent poll on pivots resulted in many insights that I’d like to share here.

You’ve Hit A Plateau

Nearly 50% of people felt that hitting a plateau would be the primary reason to pivot.

Over-Funded Competitors

28% attributed over-funded competitors as their primary reason to pivot. While you may have a unique idea and approach, going up against well-funded competitors might cause you to change your strategy.

The remaining felt that having other products that sell more and being urged by your investors were primary reasons to pivot.

We also had some other interesting viewpoints come in.

Pivots, like everything else, are difficult at first, but over time they can become second nature.

Pivots are not just in the realm of startups. Even large businesses in today’s rapidly changing tech-driven world need to reinvent. So, a startup can be a good testing ground to experiment and pivot your business to strength.

Pivoting doesn’t have to be an emotional decision. An entrepreneur’s ability to recognize when to pivot and execute it effectively is the single most important privilege of leadership leverage you have. This will often determine the success of the company.



Vani Kola

VC @Kalaari. Committed to entrepreneurship in India. Yoga enthusiast, Daily Meditator, Occasional runner & mom of two girls.