A “pivot” in the tech world often means the kiss of death. When a company pivots, it takes its original or current business model and makes dramatic changes to push them in a different, hopefully more profitable direction. Many try. Few succeed.
The seven below are distinct exceptions. With Gowalla’s recent acquisition by Facebook, it culminated the shift that the company has been going through for a while. They lost to Foursquare and needed a change. Now, the talent will be preserved in a stable company and the work can be applied to a new platform (or ditched altogether.
Tagged.com is another company associated with Facebook that made a successful pivot. When they realized early on that Facebook would be the eventual winner of the social networking race to be the place where everyone finds their friends and relatives, Tagged moved towards “social discovery” as their business model and are now a highly-profitable company.
Perhaps the most shocking is the move that Nintendo made. Few realize how old the company really is. Started 122 years ago as a you and playing card company, Nintendo shifted to video games nearly a century later and never looked back.