Entrepreneurs share about pivoting their company

The following excerpt from Jade CEO Gillian Fishman was featured in the article 'Entrepreneurs Share About Pivoting Their Company' on entrepreneurship blog We Live To Build.  Gillian shares about her experience pivoting from developing a solution for lawyers to developing a solution for LegalTech companies. You can find the full article here.

Gillian Fishman

Founder & CEO of Jade

One of the best pieces of advice I received as a founder was to stay open to pivoting.

A mentor told me that identifying pivots early and often is what gives experienced founders the edge over first-time founders.For that reason, I’ve consciously looked for pivots every step of the way. Every idea I have about my business is a hypothesis to test. If I discover that the hypothesis is false, I pivot.

My first pivot came within weeks of starting my legal tech company. I was interviewing lawyers to get initial data about whether they would use my product. It seemed like things were going well—lawyers resonated with the problem I wanted to solve, and they liked the idea for the product.

At the same time, I was networking with the legal tech community and sharing my idea with other founders. And while lawyers liked my product idea, legal tech founders loved it.

Their enthusiasm blew lawyers’ reactions out of the water. One day it hit me: I’m building a solution for the wrong customer. It’s not lawyers who care about this, it’s legal tech companies.

Identifying the need to pivot is a lot harder than figuring out what to do about it. For me, it was a matter of revisiting my business model and determining how to monetize the solution for a different type of customer. If you test an idea before you act on it, it’s much easier to change your plan—which is why it’s so important to keep an open mind.

People talk about pivoting as if it’s the worst thing that can happen to a startup. In reality, startup ideas are fluid, and pivoting is a sign of progress. It means you’re taking risks, failing fast, and embracing new learning opportunities.