Stick, Twist, Pivot or Persevere

Eric Ries’ book, The Lean Startup, is a fascinating book. And not just for the start-up. Really.

Stick, Twist, Pivot or Persevere

His model is Silicon Valley startup-centric whereas my start point is the opposite end of the spectrum, working with existing growing businesses. But so many of the principles are similar.

In his blog and book, Ries uses specific terminology relating to the core lean start-up principles. Understand these principles and his whole viewpoint makes sense.

  • Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is the “version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort.” The goal of an MVP is to test fundamental business hypotheses (or leap-of-faith assumptions).
  • Continuous deployment is a process “whereby all code that is written for an application is immediately deployed into production”, which results in a reduction of cycle times.
  • Split testing or A/B test is an experiment in which “different versions of a product are offered to customers at the same time”.
  • Innovation accounting helps start-ups build discipline into managing questions associated with pivoting or persevering. It works against vanity metrics in favour of truly actionable metrics.
  • Pivots are the points where you decide to continue or re-jig the offer (but keep some core fundamentals).

After your experimentation/testing period you reach the decision point, “pivot or persevere?”

Too many businesses stay wedded to old decisions and poor assumptions. Ries tries to speed things up by getting you to twist or stick! If your leap of faith assumptions are right and your model works then it is time to move on to the next stage. If not, then it is time to put on your thinking cap.

For me the ‘pivot or persevere’ question is worth its weight in gold.


Do you have a ‘pivot or persevere’ scenario in your business? If so, what are you going to do about it?

PS You may find these articles useful as well:

Why do some companies grow nine times faster than others?

Big Business Interview Robert Craven