Photo by geralt on Pixabay

Protective Pivot-Preparation

Steve Goldberg is a partner at Finistere Ventures, an early-stage venture fund focused on food, agriculture, and sustainably feeding the world. I learned so much in our first interview that it required at least this second article to share the best parts.

Most companies are on track to fail because they are building the wrong product

Most companies are on track to fail because they are building the wrong product. Some will pivot their way away to success. Others will not. Usually, we suggest achieving Pivot Prevention by talking to enough customers early in the process, but often that isn’t done well enough, or the world changes or something else goes wrong.

So you need to be prepared for the possible pivot and the earlier you are in your life cycle, the larger that possibility is. Steve thinks about people. Are the team members deeply knowledgeable in the space? Are they experienced? Do they have the ability to hire the people they might need? These attributes will give them a better chance of successfully pivoting. And the earlier he is investing the more important these things are.

NASA wind tunnel
Photo by NASA on Unsplash

I think about systems and methodologies and often speak of applying ideas from the field of Engineering in the Face of Irreducible Uncertainty. The very short form of that is, as early as possible think about directions you might have to pivot to. Then do a little bit of extra work early to avoid much larger amounts of work and delay later should you have to pivot. Don’t skimp in the wrong places. This type of thinking explains a large portion of the differential success of serial entrepreneurs.

While Steve asks do you have the best of all possible people, I was will sing in a Diana Ross style, “Do you know, where you may have to pivot to?”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

GIPHY App Key not set. Please check settings

Written by Russell Brand

Russell has started three successful companies, one of which helped agencies of the federal government become very early adopters of open source software, long before that term was coined. His first project saved The American taxpayer 250 million dollars. In his work within federal agency, he was often called, “the arbiter of truth,” facilitating historically hostile groups and factions to effectively work together towards common goals

selective focus photography of glass ball on sandy ground 

Three Competitive Landscape Views

blue and white water droplets 

Dinosaur Ventures