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Prepare to pivot: four lessons learned from building a startup

IbyIMD+ Published 30 August 2022 in Sustainability • 5 min read

One of the co-founders of sustainable energy startup IntellSol discusses the importance of viewing your original idea as a first draft that will evolve as you gain more knowledge of the market and customer needs.

As many startups which have come before us know, the idea that you start out with might not be what ends up making your venture successful. Gaining a better understanding of what customers really need – by gathering critical on-the-ground data and running a reality check – sometimes means changing course.

Slack, a business collaboration and communication app, began as a company that made a computer game called Glitch. The game was a flop, but the colorful chat functionality used by players and employees turned into a hit. Similarly, Groupon started out as a social network for activists called The Point which later evolved into a daily deals site.

Over the past six months, extensive interviews with sustainability departments at major Swiss companies and learnings from a mini pilot project in Ghana have prompted us to rethink our business model to find a product-market fit that can achieve scale. The idea of this article is to help other budding entrepreneurs who may be…

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