8 Lessons From The Most Successful Pivots Ever

Did you know Nintendo used to be a taxi company?

How do founders pull off successful pivots and go on to build unicorns?

Normally when you ask people this, they tell you about Slack or Netflix. But it’s actually surprising how many of the most successful startups had to pivot at some point.

This week I analyzed over 25 massively successful startups who pivoted early on and wrote about my takeaways from 8 of the most unique ones.

Some were unexpected discoveries (did you know YouTube was originally a dating app?) and all are worth learning from. πŸ‘‡

Lessons from 8 Successful Pivots


The lesson: Niche down to win

Twitch started as Justin.tv, a website where founder Justin Kan would livestream his day 24/7. The next logical step was to allow others to host their own livestreams as channels.

The site attracted millions of viewers and grew to over 30,000 channels, which sounds pretty good, right?

The problem was that gaming content had clearly become the most successful type of content on the platform, yet the platform had to support many different types of content. This made it impossible for it to double down on what was working and add gaming-specific features.

The founders believed in the gaming approach so much that they created an entirely separate platform for the gaming content β€” Twitch β€” which allowed them to create the best possible experience for game streams, specifically.

Their gaming community loved it and the platform grew even faster than before, eventually being acquired by Amazon for $970 million.

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