Experience the pulse of Asia's innovation and connect with Asia's technology industry!Love our content? We love you too!Organizing an event? Share it with Asia's tech community on e27!Change the world! Over 200 tech industry jobs in Asia and growing
News  11, Jun 2012

[Echelon Live] How a successful pivot scored a 1 million user growth in just 2 weeks

By

Last Update: 11/6 @ 3:55PM

Simon Newstead started off his with a golden piece of advice – “It doesnt matter how hard you paddle, if you paddle in a place where there is no wave, you will not go far”.

This post is part of the live coverage of Echelon 2012, Asia’s leading tech startup event happening on June 11 – 12. If you spot typos, slight inaccuracies or need more clarification, do leave a comment in the post and we’ll address it in the next edit.

In the beginning

Frenzoo started off with a solid product of creating a virtual world product. It even managed to get a seed round and scored a headline with TechCrunch, saying “Skype founders invest in Frenzoo”. With everything that any startup could wish for, from a solid product, a seed round backed by experienced investor to a launch at Unconference 2009, everything seemed to be perfect. However, the fact remains that Frenzoo only grew to 500k users, and faced problems such as slow organic growth, an expensive paid acquisition and the failure to engage mainstream users. An unspoken truth that made pivoting inevitable. After the pivot, the site saw a 1 million user growth in under 2 weeks, as opposed to its original traction of 1 million users in 2 years.

Examples of successful pivots

Simon shared some examples of successful pivots, which includes Fab.com, which was pivoted from Fabulis, a social network, making it an entirely different pivot from its initial intention. The next example brought up is OMGPOP which was pivoted from Iminlikewithyou, and also DanceDanceRevolution, which pivoted into the familiar Guitar Hero.

How do you know when to pivot?

There are several tell tale signs: When you have users who are no longer excited with your product, a steep retention drop off rate, a mismatch of CPA vs LTV and a small market size. While it may sound fairly gloom and bleak, Simon shared that even if your first idea is not working out, fret not, because you are not alone.

Tips on pivoting

Tip 1: Increase your runway and make sure you survive. This can be done through cost cutting on development expenses or salary.

Tip 2: Learn from your mistakes (UX, tech, market need, distribution, team, unique proposition).

Tip 3: Leverage what you did right, and this could be a number of different things.

Tip 4: Rebrand and show the world your new goal, new product and new focus.

Tip 5: Dont look back, and focus on the future.

Thanks for following the live coverage of Echelon 2012. If you’d like to check out more coverage of the sessions at Echelon 2012, follow this link.

Jacky Yap

Jacky Yap

Having spent one year abroad in Shanghai under the NUS Overseas College Programme, Jacky has an avid interest in entrepreneurship and web based startups. Jacky used to run N-House, Singapore's first entrepreneurial themed residence in NUS, and was also part of the organizing team for Startup Weekend Singapore 2012. You can reach him at jacky [at] e27 [dot] co

  • Gibson Tang

    Eh? DDR was by Konami and Guitar Hero was by Harmonix/Red Octane. Harmonix pivoted from music games such as Karaoke Revolution to Guitar Hero where they looked to Konami’s Guitar Freaks as an inspiration. Total 2 different games by 2 different companies

  • Gibson Tang

    Eh? DDR was by Konami and Guitar Hero was by Harmonix/Red Octane. Harmonix pivoted from music games such as Karaoke Revolution to Guitar Hero where they looked to Konami’s Guitar Freaks as an inspiration. Total 2 different games by 2 different companies

  • Simon Newstead

    Hey Gibson, the example was of RedOctane/Harmonix who first started out as the “Netflix” for video games, then moved to distributing accessories like DDR mats etc…before going through pivot to end up at what became Guitar Hero.. 

  • Simon Newstead

    Thanks Jacky for this recap!

  • Pingback: e27 – 3D fashion RPG, ‘Style Me Girl’, by Frenzoo hits top spot on iTunes and Amazon with 1 million downloads in 2 weeks

  • Pingback: Startup Genome: What you need to know about the Singapore startup ecosystem - e27

Work for a Startup

Management Associate
TIEN Academy
Financial Operations Associate
Saena Partners
Technician
StaffOnDemand
Marketing & Business Development Internship
StaffOnDemand
All Categories Jobs in Pakistan
JOBZ.PK