A recent response to a question on Quora about whether Quora was generating revenue showed a mistaken philosophy in many young companies, that not having revenue is a good thing. For those who are not familiar with it, Quora is a question and answer site where users post questions, people respond and questions are up/down voted based on their quality, so the best answers flow to the top. The company has raised about $61 million in two rounds of financing.
A couple of months ago, A Quora user posted the question: Is Quora Profitable?. Marc Bodnick, who leads Quora’s business and community teams, responded: “No, Quora the company is not profitable. We don’t have any revenues!”. Continue reading “Zero revenue should not be a badge of honor”
While the focus and glory is on an ability to quickly pivot your business model, a more important skill for entrepreneurs is being able to pivot inside your business. We encourage and fête leaders who change their business model to deal with changing market conditions or adjust their original plan when it meets reality. As important to growing your company and reaching an exit (or more important), but often unseen and unsung is the ability to change the way you do business, your processes, technology, etc. The success of my first company, Merscom, is often attributed to our pivoting from value core games (CD-ROMs sold at stores like Target and Best Buy) to casual downloadable games (e.g., hidden-object games downloaded from sites like Big Fish) and then pivoting to social (i.e., Facebook) games. Equally important—but more difficult—was pivoting from licensing content to creating content, pivoting from using external developers to building an internal team and pivoting from a European-focused marketing strategy to a domestic strategy. It was the latter pivots that paved the way for Merscom’s sale to Playdom and subsequently through Playdom to Disney. While all the attention and board meetings are focused on whether or not to pivot your business model, you should spend as much or more time analyzing how you are doing business and whether it needs to change. Continue reading “Pivoting is not just about business models”