Today, the smartphone in your pocket is more powerful than the computers NASA used to put astronauts on the moon.
With the kind of rapid technological development that’s going on every day, new startups have to be agile to keep competitive and stay in business.
Not a few startups fail because they don’t react fast enough, or focus on the wrong products or strategies from the beginning. Some entrepreneurs fall in love with their original ideas, and fail to pivot soon enough because they can’t admit it’s not working.
Successful entrepreneurs have to know when it’s time to change focus in order to stay in business. One of the most famous examples of successful pivoting is Steve Jobs. When he returned to Apple in 1997, the company has annual losses of over $4 billion — today, it’s the second most valuable company in the world. That’s because Jobs knew that Apple had to start rapidly innovating in order to keep up with the changing technology. He saved Apple by drastically cutting their product line by 70%, focusing on only four main products.
But some startups go even further, not just refining their focus, but completely changing their entire strategies or industries.
Some of the examples in the chart below are hard to believe. Did you know that Nokia started off as a papermill in Finland, or that Nintendo has actually been in business since the 1800s?
But the reason why these companies have survived and gone on to become hugely successful is because they adapted to changing times. The world would be a much different place if Nintendo never decided to start making game consoles, or if Twitter kept its focus on podcasts instead of microblogging.
Check out the details below — the humble beginnings of these now-famous companies might surprise you!
Companies like Twitter, PayPal™, Nokia®, and Nintendo® have become household names, but none of them operate today in the way they were originally intended. These successful companies were once startups that went through significant pivots, changing the company and the tech world as we know it.
A pivot is a significant change in a startup’s original strategy.
Who knows what the world would be like today if Nokia had stayed in the paper mill business, or if Nintendo had never ventured into video games. The companies may have gone under all together, or they may have found a different path to success.