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Failure to Staunch

Entrepreneurs and CTOs who remain flexible with all things digital are more likely to succeed.

Entrepreneurs and CTOs who remain flexible with all things digital are more likely to succeed.

Your digital product will pivot.

A staggering 88% of the Fortune 500 companies in 1955 are no longer in business today. A post mortem analysis of many of these companies reveals the mundane: consumers stopped buying what was being sold. Product-market fit is a business fundamental yet hitting this moving target has proven difficult for companies of all shapes and sizes.

Product-market fit can be especially elusive for leaders of digital products. Tech spiff like [insert Silicon Valley’s flavor of the week here], combined with entrepreneur’s eternal optimism, leads many to make poor hiring decisions based on what they see in their rose-colored telescope focused far away. Immediate challenges and tactical decisions are overlooked. We see it happen all the time.

We also see CTOs and leaders frequently take a smarter approach. The savvy, avoid tunnel vision and consider their options – seasoned CTOs understand the path to success for most digital products is not linear. They get to market fast, listen, and adjust. The buzzword for this is pivot. The history of tech is littered with “pivoteers”:

Tech Pivoteer Former Model
Nintendo
Manufactured playing cards (game over!)
Twitter
Network built for podcasting
YouTube
Video dating site
Pinterest
Mobile shopping app
Nokia
Rubber company that made galoshes… galoshes
Your digital product will pivot… Can your tech team?

The start small and fail fast concept is common with digital products but should also extend to your digital team. Some pivots, even small ones, can require completely new skills to accomplish. Retooling an existing development team can be a major impediment, if not a complete blocker, to moving forward. With a potential pivot on the horizon, CTOs can protect their capital and remain agile by engaging a digital partner with the capacity, dexterity, and skillset to change quickly.

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