To pivot is to turn about an axis, and is a term used in business model development to suggest a change in direction, as in, if something doesn’t work, try something else. For example, if you’re developing a business model to make clothing and your target demographic is 13 to 17 year-old girls, trials might find that your target demographic is inappropriate and that based on the evidence you could pivot to a new target demographic of 15 to 19 year-old boys.

Steve Blank, writes “A pivot is a substantive change to one or more of the 9 business model canvas components.

A pivot (or perhaps abandonment) should take place whenever a lesson has been learnt, regardless of whether you are using Alexander Osterwalder’s  Business Model Canvas, or not, and I strongly recommend that you do.

To find that one’s original business ideas are invalid or do not work as we expected is not uncommon, as those original ideas are likely based on untested hypothesises. Finding this out should not be seen as a mistake or a failure, instead invalidated hypothesises should be viewed as lessons; unfortunately there are learning opportunities everywhere.

However, what can be called a failure is to try something that is relatively obviously going to fail, for example, making chocolate teapots or lead balloons. It can also be called a failure to not learn from what you or others have tried, or to ignore the lessons and to persist, but this time even harder.

Persisting with the futile expecting different results is a gross waste of resources and sweat-equity.