It’s the moment many entrepreneurs hit eventually, no matter how much funding they have raised and burned through, no matter how many 100-hour weeks they and their teams have put in, no matter how brilliant their initial idea.
It’s time to pivot — and it’s the moment many entrepreneurs resist.
For Ron Shah, founder of Bizly, a new company that helps hotels book unused meeting rooms, his pivot began with disaster: the day he found his Manhattan office flooded, his conference room under three inches of water. Trying to quickly book a quiet, private room for business meetings proved surprisingly difficult, requiring almost a week, he said. His initial focus, an app for business travelers, had found little traction, while he soon realized that hotels had plenty of unused smaller meeting room inventory and no efficient way to find takers.
But the decision to drop his first business? It hurt, he said.
“It’s heart-wrenching,” Mr. Shah said. “You put your blood and sweat and heart into it, and when you show it to people they shoot you down.”
Mr. Shah’s new business has signed up 25 New York City hotels and raised $1.5 million from angel investors and $3 million from a seed round. Yet three months into his new project, he has had to pivot again, realizing that his best customers are large businesses, not individuals.
“There’s a completely humongous market for us to take that we didn’t even realize,” he said.
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