#WM100 Don't Fear the Pivot
By Peter Prestipino, Editor-In-Chief
In his popular book "Outliers," author Malcolm Gladwell says that it takes roughly 10,000 hours of practice to achieve mastery in a field of endeavor.
Looking back on what it has taken to produce 100 print issues of Website Magazine, far more than 10,000 hours have been required. So are we masters yet? Nope - not by a long shot. That might come as a surprise to hear, particularly from an enterprise that does everything it can to help its readers "accelerate" 'Net success, but it is, without question, very much the truth.
The reason is simple - our staff knows, and we hope you know too, that working on the Web (or in any professional capacity) requires continual development, an uninterrupted focus on learning more about what motivates, excites and compels others to take action and achieve personal success, and as much patience, time and, of course, intelligent effort as can be mustered to see it through on a hour-to-hour, day-by-day basis.
A "best effort," however, is not an indication a big idea has any merit, a solution or service is actually needed or even wanted or that there is a place for an enterprise in the broader digital business landscape. Often, it's necessary to pivot - change course if you will - and doing so should not elicit fear or trepidation, regret or a sense of failure that the prior approach hasn't worked out. In fact, doing so might yield better results than expected.
How to Pivot & Win in Business
Get an empowering guide to changing a culture, product or service at wsm.co/chachanges.
Twitter, seemingly everyone's favorite digital whipping boy of late, provides the perfect example. While the company's efforts have previously focused on providing a unique "experience" for its customers, supporting developers (sometimes) and building advertiser relationships, these initiatives ultimately miss the target.
Why? Because as pointed out in "Reversing the Course (and Fortunes) of Twitter" (published on the Web at wsm.co/tweetpivot), its core product has no obvious purpose. Twitter is excellent for what it is (a consumer-focused messaging platform), but that mastery is not enough, and it never will be.
Fortunately, there's a solution - and it likely applies to many of our readers' enterprises - pivot. What if a version of Twitter were to be repurposed as a messaging or team communication tool for the enterprise? While there are numerous tools in the market currently (e.g., Slack), taking this approach would enable the company to use the technology it has already developed and roll out integrations over time to build it into an even bigger and better solution for internal and external messaging, something along the lines of a customer relationship management (CRM) solution or even a marketing automation platform. That would bring in more businesses (and revenue), right? You know it.
Pivoting from the core or fundamental mission of an enterprise is certainly no easy task, but adding feature upon feature on a solution or service - despite the energy and time invested in it - isn't working for Twitter and it is likely not working for other brands either. Take a moment to consider how an enterprise might pivot - not pivot in a different direction, but rather a better one. Like you, we at Website Magazine have more work to do and will just keep moving forward. There is always something new to learn and master, and always a new industry development that could change our digital futures in the blink of a virtual eye. We will pivot in new and exciting directions over our next 100 issues and encourage you to continue joining us as we accelerate down the course of 'Net success.