The Product Pivot

Steve Blue

Organizations that can’t adopt and adapt to new technologies are going to be pushed aside by others that can. It’s called a product pivot, and it’s less about the specific technology being launched and more about managing the associated changes it introduces.

Every company is on a going-out-of-business curve unless it constantly reinvents itself. Examples abound of businesses that clung wistfully to their old products and decried anything new. Kodak failed to reinvent itself even though it clearly saw the move toward digital film. Netflix assassinated Blockbuster. Uber is destroying the entire taxi business. And what is the taxi industry’s response? Cling to the old model and ask the government to protect it. These are all examples of companies or industries that chose to cling to the tried-and-true but destined-to-fail old ways. All because of a failure to execute what is called “the product pivot.”

The product pivot is shedding the old skin of dying product lines and weathered technology and reinventing new ones to fit the times and the changing market conditions. It’s taking an old-line company and transforming it to a digital dynamo.

But beware, the transition from not-digital to digital is as tricky and perilous as careening off an icy highway. It’s a high-wire juggling act that requires constant attention to make mid-course corrections…

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