XU Magazine - Issue 01

Closing words: why it’s less ‘pivot’ and more ‘handbrake turn’


If you’re a frequent digester of startup blogs, you can’t escape the over-used term, “pivot”…

A pivot, according to these bloggers and other opinion leaders, is a strategic change in direction away from your current business model, based on customer feedback or changes in the market.

I’ve never liked the term “pivot”. I was recently talking to a fellow startup founder about Satago’s own “pivot” to focus on accounts receivable automation and I told him that I don’t think “pivot” is a suitable term for the experience.

A pivot is when you change direction with one foot placed on the ground. It’s soft, it’s gentle, it’s quick, and once you change direction with your pivot, you put your foot down again and you know which way you’re facing. Dancers pivot. Martial arts students pivot. Startups don’t pivot. Startups make handbrake turns.

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About the author

Steven Renwick, CEO Satago

Steven’s passion for tackling the late-payment issue was driven by growing up with a family business in the construction sector, where late-payment is rife. Before starting Satago, Steven worked at a leading European Internet incubator, helping launch eCommerce companies all around the world. He has a MBA from University of Oxford, and in a previous life was a research biologist, with a PhD from University College London.