A startup doesn't have a great origin story these days unless it had to pivot. From one perspective this is a real crisis for most young companies and their founders. In 2004, two guys were trying to sell their snowboards online. Had any of these founders clamped down and stuck with their original company they likely would have failed.
It seems every founder has a tale of heading confidently in one direction with their new company, only to realize that their business plan was based on a lot of bad assumptions and just isn't working out. In order to do so they needed an online shopping cart. It has nothing to do with snowboards, but does have over 200,000 merchants signed up. Instead, each are not only millionaires, but modern day business success stories being told online and in MBA classrooms. We don't talk about them because their early ideas failed.
Speed to fail gives a startup more runway to pivot and ultimately succeed.Secondly, what happens when the popularity of the content warehouse (in this case Medium) declines? Live Journal was once very popular and seemed invincible. It is a longer game, that is for sure, but better for your future.In general, these points made me think of the (apparently untrue) popular belief that goldfish have memories of 3 seconds.It’s the famous ability to ‘pivot,’ which means that a Tech Company will become whatever it needs to be and will, in time and as pressure increases to show a return, follow the money. Android started out as an Operating System for cameras.That trail might lead in very unexpected directions – Facebook, famously, started as ‘facemash’ a rather appalling site to place 2 pictures next to each other and users could rate which person was ‘hotter’. So, pivots happen often and can take the service in directions the users might not be able to guess at the time. I’m not going to argue Medium will pivot, but I’m also not going to say it won’t.
A few names have proven that business pivoting can be a successful game plan.