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7 Successful Entrepreneurs Share Their Company’s Big Pivot

Source | FastCompany : By Vivian Giang

In a blog post way back in 2006, famed venture capitalist Paul Graham wrote that starting a startup isn’t about a “stick-to-your-vision” approach, but “more like science, where you need to follow the trail wherever it leads.”

We see the truth in Graham’s wisdom ubiquitously in companies brave enough to make pivotal changes, adopt a trial-and-error attitude to later reap big rewards. We’ve seen how much Facebook, Apple, and Google have changed their focus since launching. We’ve seen the transformation of PayPal from a cryptography company to the online payment service it is today. We’ve seen Netflix go from disrupting Blockbuster’s DVD rental business to being a force in television.

But for every successful bold change that worked, there are a boundless amount of those that didn’t work out as planned. Nonetheless, the “failures” moved the company forward and the founders live to tell the tales today. Below are moments that didn’t work as intended—and what it meant for the below companies:

Naama Bloom, founder and CEO of HelloFlo

In the beginning, HelloFlo was a small tampon subscription service for women and girls. Then in 2013, the company’s empowering and hilarious “Camp Gyno” ad led to a complete pivot in the company’s business focus. The ad, which currently has 11 million views on YouTube, became such a sensation, Bloom received a flood of emails with questions from everything about menstruation to menopause.

As a result, Bloom started developing more content and working with brands to create that content.

“While people wanted to buy products, what they really wanted was information,” she tells Fast Company. So while the company still offers care packages, it’s a one-time purchase and resources are dedicated to women’s health.”People don’t talk openly about [women’s health], but I had a different approach—and it resonated,” Bloom explains.

Blooms describes HelloFlo now as a women’s health company that devotes its content to everything from polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) syndrome to hormone replacement therapy to the vaginal discharge that all women have, but rarely discuss.

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