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Pivot Patrol

Pivot Patrol

Harvard Business Review Clutches Its Pearls at Pivot ‘Promiscuity’

Not what social media was invented for. (pulse2.com)

Is there any startup that doesn’t pivot at least a couple of times these days? The term is everywhere, to the point that, during a recent round of putt-putt golf, we overheard an entrepreneur passing off the many pivots of his e-commerce startup as acceptable first-date small talk.

Well, the Harvard Business Review has discovered the trend, and the venerable publication isn’t so sure it likes what it sees.

The magazine’s September issue takes a look at four recent(ish)ly released business books–The Launch PadThe Lean StartupStartup Weekend and The Ultralight Startup–and came away quite alarmed indeed. The title of its review: “Too Many Pivots, Too Little Passion.” Read More

Pivot Patrol

The Diaspora Team Branches Out to Build Photo Remixing Tool Makr.io

(Photo: Makr.io)

After the tragic loss of one of its core members, the team behind Diaspora–a Y-Combinator-backed open source “anti-social network”–went underground for a while, privately grieving while attempting to keep the well-funded and highly hyped company running. But the startup show must go on: AllThingsD reported today that the Diaspora team channeled their grief into a new site–launched today and called Makr–that allows you to easily remix and distribute photos. Read More

Pivot Patrol

Billy Chasen Talks About the Decision to Shut Down Stickybits and Start Turntable.fm

The glory days. (Photo: Turntable.fm)

Betabeat covered the rise of Turntable.fm this summer and the pivot/restart founder Billy Chasen made from his previous company Stickybits. During the most recent episode of Founder Stories, he told Chris Dixon about how he came to make this hard decision and break the news to his investors and employees.

“I was looking at the health of the company, just a dozen different metrics, how are users liking it, where is the product at, and everything was just kind of a mediocre success. So I wasn’t as excited going in, I was like, can I really see myself doing this for another year.” Read More

Pivot Patrol

Fighting Fire With Fire at the SkillSlate Pivot Party

Firedancers - a seriously undervalued asset

The stench of burning gasoline hung in the air at the first-ever Pivot Party inside party promoter Todd P’s Old Firehouse on Lafeyette. It was 10 o’clock on a Tuesday night, and the engine room had been converted—or pivoted—into a event space. A lone couple danced on the floor to a Jackson 5 song. One half of the duo was Bartek Ringwelski, founder of SkillSlate, who wore a white T-shirt emblazoned with his company logo and was throwing this party.

SkillSlate, which raised $1.1 million in seed funding back in October 2010, had burned through more than half its capital before deciding its original idea—to be a user-generated review system, like Yelp, but for freelancers—wasn’t going to work. “It was a really tough discussion to have with our backers, but we just knew it was time to pivot,” said Mr. Ringwelski. Read More