"Pivot" and Other Business BS

January 19, 2012 by Gabe | [mmd] |

Ben Brooks provides a succinct editorial of the NYT article on what a "Pivot" is. I see his point. What really bothers me is that a pivot is not a new concept, it's just a new junk-word.

When I was a kid, there was a coffee shop on one of the corners that seemed to undergo a transformation every year. First it was just a coffee shop. Then it was a clone of a Winchell's donuts. Then it was a sub-shop. The next year, it became a Chinese drive-through restaurant. Now if they were accepting VC funding they would have called each of these a pivot and every tech blog would applaud their innovation and creativity. Instead, everyone in my neighborhood just looked at it like some hard-working bastard trying to find his market. It didn't seem like a failure but it also didn't look like a savvy business man.

The business lingo is not helping anyone. When I hear about a pivot, I don't think of a hard working or savvy business person. I think of failure and indecision.

Do you want to know where that store finally had success? What was the longest lived business at that corner? The store became a Chinese sub-shop that also sold donuts at the wee-hours. You have never had a sub until you've had a spicy chicken sub with scrambled eggs at two in the morning. That's an idea that could have only been conceived by a guy that refused to accept defeat.

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