Say hello to Humbleteam’s newest digital product! It’s called Control Shift, and it’s a podcast about the art of the pivot.
In each episode we tell the story of an individual, a company or a whole industry that dramatically changed direction, adapted to new circumstances, and used old skills to find new solutions.
Control Shift isn’t strictly speaking a podcast about startups, but we think a lot of the lessons we’ll learn along the way will be useful to startups trying to find their groove.
The first episode is a great example. It’s the story of Gregory Pincus, a scientist who started out trying to invent IVF ( in vitro fertilization), but ended up inventing oral contraceptives,better known as “The Pill.”
Pincus was a pure scientist, but his readiness to reconsider and change his course was something that many entrepreneurs would envy. Thanks to his pivoting skills, he made a classic U-turn and changed millions of lives.
Control Shift is hosted by Anatoliy Gromov. What drew his attention to this story is how easily Gregory Pincus shifted when encountering resistance. “Kicked out from Harvard? Not a problem, find another university. New university sucks? Okay, let’s crowdfund and move to a garage in a true startup manner. But at the same time, Pincus didn’t throw away everything he had been working on. When he met Margaret Sanger and made his biggest and most important pivot, from IVF to the Pill, he got his balance between change and continuity perfectly.”
Anatoliy continues: “What all good pivots have in common is this: You take your best asset — your team or technology or unique expertise — and you move to a more promising market where this asset can be applied better.”
Truly great lessons for startups everywhere.