Entrepreneurs understand that businesses pivot all the time. In fact, they see it as a requirement. In The Lean Startup, Eric Ries explains that success is rarely achieved without continuous innovation. And true innovation can only be achieved with trial and error, and the willingness to fail in the process.

Like most who have chosen the path less traveled, I know a thing or two about failing. I started Motivideos six years ago when I thought I could leverage Digital to offer generic motivational video content to large organizations.

As a former corporate video communications director, I knew there was a market. We had hypothesized that Digital advertising would allow us to target potential customers more cost-effectively. But once our minimum viable product was ready for testing, we realized that we would have to spend far more than anticipated. In other words, targeting was not as precise as we had hoped.

 

“We were forced to pivot toward a more traditional custom video production model.”

 

Several years later, Masterclass‘ grand digital advertising campaign was another example of how costly building a brand in a noisy online universe can be. In fact, Google is now the largest advertising company in the world, and as a result of its near monopoly, it has a gargantuan market capitalization. This is probably one of the most brilliant business models in the history of business! Advertising generates lots of noise and as the economy keeps growing so does advertising, and so does the noise. Consequenlty, businesses feel the need to invest even more to break through the added noise!

Back to Motivideos. We were forced to pivot toward a more traditional custom video production model. And becasue of that, we shifted from a niche market to a far bigger and more competitive one. With the advent of the video-capable DSLR camera, the video industry has commoditized so much in recent years that finding and owning a niche market in our industry, as entrepreneurship experts recommend it, is now next to impossible.

But it is not impossible, as demonstrated by the success of Sandwich Video. Its Founder, Adam Lisagor, accidentally hit a nerve in Silicon Valley when he developed a new type of sales pitch. His model is simple and difficult to copy because he is the star of all the product videos he produces. Because he is not the traditional over-the-top pitchman, all his videos have a much more authentic feel.

I guess you could say that Lisagor disrupted the pitchman format in a way that Silicon Valley and others found very appealing. In fact, Jack Dorsey, the Square and Twitter Founder and CEO, was his first customer. This was enough to get the word out among his numerous followers and emulators and to launch a new trend.

 

“We didn’t even realize the pivot had occurred!”

 

Jack Dorsey hasn’t knocked on Motivideos’ door yet, but we are continuously reevaluating our value proposition. For years, the tides of production were pulling us toward video animation. One project led to another until it became obvious that animated¬†explainer videos had become one of our key activities. So we didn’t even realize the pivot had occurred.

While Explainer Videos are a maturing format, they are not going away fast. Marketers need effective ways to educate, train, and mobilize their employees and stakeholders. These videos established themselves very effectively in these applications. In addition, our clients have indicated they are looking for filmmakers and animators who can explain complex business, digital, and IT topics simply while striking the right tone for their audience.

So this was not our first and will probably not be our last pivot. But regardless of our destination, this journey has been and continues to be an enlightening one. Could we ask for anything more?!

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