What do Amazon, Starbucks, American Express, IBM, You Tube and Netflix all have in common? The ability to embrace change, innovate and reinvent themselves. This is often called the “pivot”.
Amazon started as an online physical book seller. In 2000 it changed its model to allow for 3rd parties to sell online via their platform and became a billion dollar retail giant.
Starbucks initially only sold coffee beans and coffee equipment in a few stores in Seatle. An innovative CEO had the vision to create an entire experience around coffee consumption and that pivot led to the Starbucks we know today.
IBM was best known as the world’s top manufacturer of “computing machines”. When the computing hardware business got too competitive, they pivoted to focus on software and IT consulting. This reinvention has positioned them as one of the most powerful industry leaders.
YouTube started as a dating website, Netflix began in the DVD rental business, Play-Doh was launched as a cleaning agent and Apple almost went bankrupt in the 1990’s.
The list of companies that have experienced a remarkable come-back as the result of embracing change vs resisting it is enormous. Read on to learn more about other successful business “pivots” and get inspired.