Sometimes, You Just Need To Pivot To Succeed

Sometimes, You Just Need To Pivot To Succeed

Your high school science class may have you associating the word “pivot” with the wonders of basic mechanics, but in this age it’s been hijacked for another purpose — a term to describe switching up your established direction for something completely different.

Image: Joel Hester.

TechCruch has an article up covering the concept from the point of view of business. This is the definition of pivot it provides: “a radical and transformative change in company direction, strategy, focus and product line.” Ignoring the company focus, the idea of considering a huge change in your workflow or creative process can be applied to just about anything.

I’ll use a personal example — as an indie game developer, I’m constantly iterating on designs, be they for a user interface or internal game mechanic. The game I’m developing now, which can be best described as a “survival horror simulator”, was originally based around a town map as the central user interface element. But I wasn’t happy with the way it was working out and no amount of fiddling with the individual parts produced an acceptable answer.

It was only when I objectively confronted exactly what I wanted to do — tell an interactive horror story — that I realised I needed to dump the map idea entirely and switch to a diary. So now the game mostly takes place in the pages of a diary the player interacts with, which means they record everything they do by simply playing. It was a hard decision — I had to shelve a code base I’d been working with for two years, but looking back it was absolutely the right way to go.

Have you found the need to “pivot” your life? If so, how did it work out for you?

To Pivot or Not to Pivot [TechCrunch]


  • Yeah, such advice was given to me when studying architecture, seems to work well in design related fields. Though i have to admit i haven’t yet applied it to my work, maybe next time.

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