Before the Pivot, the ‘Jazz’

One of the constant comments that I heard at the Propeller Demo Day last week, particularly from mentors, was how many of the startups had performed a significant ‘pivot’ in their business plan since joining the Propeller Venture Accelerator only 14 weeks early. In some cases this was very true.

The crowds start to arrive at Demo Day

I know some commentators in Silicon Valley don’t like the term ‘pivot’ feeling it is too overused and perhaps on the West Coast it is, but terms like ‘pivot’ or ‘pracademic’ (which I am fond of as it sums up what we do in the Ryan Academy) sure do sum up what happens.

The Calm before the Storm at Demo Day

The only issue I have with the term is that it is almost too smooth. It sounds like there is a point where the pivot happens. Discussing their own pivot with one of the founders recently, I suggested that in reality what happens before the pivot is really like jazz. It may seem a bit crazy with different instruments playing out of sync but if you listen closely there is a logic to it. Startup chaos theory if you like!

There is no doubt that a key part to being a founder in an accelerator is that you have to listen to your instinct, and to your mentors!

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