If a startup pivots in the woods and no one’s around to hear it, does it make a sound?
No. That’s why, when you decide to move your business in a different direction, you need a handy template to explain that thought process to your total addressable market via your company blog.
It looks something like this.
Blog template for startup pivot post
1. How we’ve been doing things
When you started out, what were you hopeful about? Think back to those blindly optimistic times when you falsely thought you could take over the world, or at the very least, change the way people shopped for [fill in the blank]. You had your head down. Maybe you weren’t looking at the full picture. God, were you naive.
2. Why that’s not working
You made some assumptions that were way off the mark. The business started to go in one direction and you started to go in another. Maybe your pricing was off. Maybe you were trying to solve the wrong problem. Maybe you hired the wrong people. Whatever it is, you’re not doing it anymore. Because when you were doing it, you weren’t doing your best work. And you should always, always do your best work.
3. What we concluded
You’ve been doing some serious thinking. You’ve met with advisors. You even considered shutting down. It hasn’t been easy, this thing you’re wrestling with. You’ve had to make some tough choices. In the end, you decided that the best direction for the company would be [insert new direction here].
4. What happens now/moving forward
Internally, here’s what you’re doing: maybe some jobs are changing, or maybe there are layoffs. I can guarantee you you’re not happy about it, but it’s what needs to be done. Bit by bit you’re learning how to be a business here, not just a bunch of kids in animal costumes. So this is the plan, like it or not.
5. What this means for you/me/everyone
Yes, this means you’re no longer doing that thing. So what does it mean for that other thing? What about all those people that relied on you to do those things? Don’t worry, you’re still taking care of some of those people. In fact, you’re doing all this FOR those people. Those other people, the ones you aren’t going to be doing things for anymore, well, they’ll learn to get by somehow, you’re just sure of it.
6. Hopeful summary
These last few months haven’t been easy, but you’ve learned a lot. The real lesson you’ve learned is how to move forward, and how to really do your best work. After all, when you’re reaching your full potential, your customers will be able to reach theirs. Without that, what’s the point of any of it?
Inspiration Station: Some Startup Pivot Blog Post Writing in the Wild
37 Signals becomes Basecamp (the folks at Basecamp write this post pretty much every time they release a feature)