The Path to Pivot

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If you're a founder at a crossroads with your startup, keep reading.

How many times have you heard that you have to stay the path to get that $1B+ exit? All those stories of grinding it out through the tough years.

And yet, some of the most successful companies—Instagram, Notion, Loom, Discord—were the result of giving up on Plan A to go after Plan B (or C or D, etc).

Being a founder is full of tough choices. When your startup’s growth hits a wall, you’re faced with two choices: grind it out or start over.

So which one is right for you?

The Path to Pivot is the practical playbook for founders finding your way to exponential growth. Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • Frameworks to nail the why, when, and how of pivoting
  • Deep dives into the pivots of +10 startups like
  • Actionable tools to rebuild your business

My Story

I founded my startup in 2011 when I was 24.

We got into Y Combinator, raised $1.3M in funding and was profiled in Vanity Fair and TechCrunch…but a year and half into the business, we were floundering. Our growth flatlined and we were forced to pivot. 7 months later we had nothing to show for ourselves and shut down the business.

Me with my team, the Dropbox founders, and the YC partners

Failing really sucked. It took me five years to try again.

After starting a tech hiring platform in 2017, I again hit a wall. But this time, my cofounder and I executed a successful a pivot into AI tools for gamers, raised new capital and pulled off an exit to FB/Meta in 2020.

Today, I run Refactor Labs, where I coach a roster of 10+ founders, senior leaders, and outlier achievers who are reinventing the future.

How did this book come to be?

In 2022 I started writing about thoughts and experiences with pivots. I started with a series of popular threads on Twitter, later with an unfinished set of essays on Medium.

Along the way I started working with the remarkable Rhea Purohit who became my research assistant, editor, and writing collaborator.

We realized that there was a lot of good material from my experience, our growing library of pivot case studies, and a lack of credible information about how to think through a pivot.

In late 2023, we decided to go all-in on the Path to Pivot, and I'm thrilled to share it with you all today.

How this book will help you restart your startup’s growth?

If you’re a founder serious about making it big, The Path to Pivot is for you. Just like all great companies, your startup is likely to come up against moments of existential doubt. This book will guide you through the hardest of those trials: the act of pivoting.

If you’re thinking about a pivot or in the midst of one, this is your startup’s chance at a stellar second-act.

  • Rebuild with structure and speed. The Path to Pivot lays out immediately actionable tools that help you find your way through the murky, no man’s land of pivoting instead of wasting time flailing on your own. Avoid wild leaps and analysis paralysis; start taking confident, well-informed strides toward success today.
  • Execute proven strategies. I’ve led two startups through pivots: one tanked, one worked. In the book we also breakdown the journey of 12+ startups—from well-known pivots to untold stories you probably haven’t heard before. That means you get to learn from the mistakes and wins of others so that you get it right on your first go.
  • Cut right to the point. There is tons of stuff out there that talks about the problems that startup founders face aka vague business advice you didn’t ask for. I've been there. So I wrote The Path to Pivot to be laser focused on the founder or CEO thinking about pivoting or already smack in the middle of one. No one and nothing else.

What's inside The Path to Pivot?

  • Shoot the Zombie: A set of questions to identify if your startup is dying and a guide to transform doubt into courage.
  • Grit, Pivot, or Quit: A 3-part matrix to help you decide whether you should pivot.
  • Pilot Your Pivot: The Align-Explore-Commit framework to test-drive your pivot before going all in.
  • Align Incrementally: A 5-step roadmap to conversations that will align your co-founder, team, and investors on the pivot.
  • Extend Your Runway: A look behind the neat PR announcements from real pivots—learn tactics to reduce your expenses and increase cash flow.
  • Leverage Your Assets: 2 hidden advantages and 6 types of trends you can use to rebuild your business from the ground up.
  • Make The Call: The master blueprint to measure your options before pulling the trigger.
  • Own Your Story: A step-by-step guide to your startup’s brand new story, including the sticky name change question
  • Stay Resilient: 5 tools to better your own health—so that you don’t just survive the pivot, you come out stronger

Choose Your Version

No matter what your budget or stage, there's a version of this book that's available for all of you.

Friends and Family ($1)—If you're not sure, you can snag a PDF with the full text of the Introduction and Chapter 1 of Path to Path + 12 one page summaries of all chapters for just one buck + a high resolution PDF of the Path to Pivot framework diagram.

Pre-Seed ($15)— PDF, Mobi, ePub and audio version of The Path to Pivot + PDF

Seed ($50)—Everything in Basic + Physical copy of The Path to Pivot (200 pages - ships in mid April) + Audiobook version (all chapters complete by mid April) + 12 one page summaries of all chapters

Series A ($500)—Everything in Pro x 5 (for your cofounders / team to read) AND a private 45 mins Zoom call to discuss your company's pivot questions / situation.

Growth Capital ($5,000)—Everything in Pro x 25 AND 90 mins private workshop for your portfolio companies that are considering a pivot + 90 mins of bookable office hours for 1:1 convos with your founders.

No Risk, All Reward

I've spent years working on the ideas behind "The Path to Pivot" and I've talked to so many founders at this point that I'm happy to put my money where my mouth is. If you apply the ideas behind this book and it doesn't dramatically reset your startup's trajectory, I'm happy to refund your purchase—365 day money back guarantee.

Questions?

Contact us at support@pathtopivot.com and we'll help guide you to your successful pivot.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is this book for?

This book is written for VC-backed founders and CEOs at any stage of a pivot—whether you’re just thinking about it or in the middle of one. It is best suited for the operator of a technology startup, with deep dives into the pivots of companies like Segment, Loom, and Retool. If you’re an indie hacker, non-tech founder, corporate executive, or agency owner, there’s something in here for you as well, but I would recommend you to tweak the advice as needed.

What makes this book different from other business books?

This book is 70% tactics and 30% theory. It’s a practical playbook for the founder reinventing their business. No vague business advice you didn’t ask for. No fluff. The Path to Pivot is made up of frameworks, tools, and strategies divided into self-contained chapters—so you can dive in and get started right away.

Will this book help me decide if I need to pivot?

Yes. The first and second chapters of this book are about answering that all-important question. I’ll show you how to use the Grit-Pivot-Quit framework to break down the problem into a series of decisions and guide you through each one.

Can this book help me if I've already decided to pivot?

Absolutely. The Path to Pivot gives you a roadmap to navigate through every single step of your pivot—from strategies for aligning your team to tools to finding your next big idea. It’s divided into self-contained chapters, so it’ll meet you exactly where you are. Dive in and get started right away.

Is "The Path to Pivot" relevant for non-tech startups?

While the book contains numerous insights from the tech world, the principles and strategies are applicable across various industries. We also include real-world examples from sectors like fashion (GOAT), food (Gobble), and freight (Nuvocargo).

How quickly can I expect to see results after reading this book?

If you’re dedicated to following this book’s advice, you will be able to:

  • answer the big question—to pivot or not—in 1 week
  • develop conviction around a new direction in 4 to 8 weeks

Word of caution: I won’t lie to you—the speed at which you’ll see results depends on the specifics of your situation. In any case, pivoting is not a quick one-and-done fix. If you pivot, you’re signing up for a long road to the big billion dollar exit—this book will guide you through each step. 

What if I'm not satisfied with the book?

I've spent years working on the ideas behind "The Path to Pivot" and I've talked to so many founders at this point that I'm happy to put my money where my mouth is. If you apply the ideas behind this book and it doesn't dramatically reset your startup's trajectory, I'm happy to refund your purchase, no questions asked.

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5 detailed pivot case studies of Lyft, GOAT, Nuvocargo, Houseparty, and Discord
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The Path to Pivot

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