Do you know Starbucks, Instagram, Flickr, Groupon, Android Inc., Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest were all born from pivots?

This successful business strategy has helped many enterprises to survive and thrive. When a ‘business pivots’, it usually means “it is fundamentally changing its business model to adapt to the changes in its customer choices, or business landscape, or any other factor that has an effect on its bottom line”.

Typically, a #pivot is implemented to upsurge the business revenue, cutting down costs, or maybe even to adjust to market opportunities, in order to find success.

Let us now take a look at the three most well-known and inspiring pivots of all time that truly exemplifies that a change in direction can lead to greater success and impact.


The first famous pivot that we talk about is Instagram. Do you know before becoming a social media giant, Instagram started out as the online app ‘Burbn’ that allowed users to check in at their favourite places, share photos, and arrange catch-ups. However, the founders Mike Krieger and Systrom soon observed that it was only the photo sharing feature which was highly used, and they saw greater potential in it. And, this is when the co-founders decided to pivot. Eventually, they streamlined the app to create ‘Instagram’ which they limited to posting photos, commenting, and liking features.


Next we talk about YouTube. In its early days, YouTube was launched as a dating website which is less well-known. When it started, it was meant as a kind of video-based dating website where the users could upload videos of themselves to find a date, but this idea failed to find market as people found it to be too shady. Resultantly, it hardly found any users and failed to generate traffic inflow. This is when the founders – Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim – decided to pivot; allowing uploading of any kind of general videos to all users/people, rather than just sticking to dating based videos. In short, they completely revamped the website, making it general and open. And their efforts as seen finally paid off.

Android Inc.

And, how can we not consider the famous pivot of Android Inc. It originally started off as a camera operating system development company which developed a cloud-based platform to store photos. The vision was to create a set-up of smart cameras that could connect to PCs. However, spotting that the sales of the individual camera had started witnessing a decline, the company opted for a well-timed strategic pivot, and launched into the mobile phone and device market. It reworked on developing for mobile handsets and then interfaced smart cameras to them, which worked wonders for them.

Comment below with which #pivot success story you found to be the most inspiring!

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