In case you missed a weekly webinar - no worries. Here is a recorded version along with questions asked and resources identified for this week.


WOW! Is this a good time to pivot?


> Watch Week 2 <


RECORDED MONDAY, APRIL 13, 2020 (56 minutes)

- Featuring -



Guy Kawasaki is the chief evangelist of Canva and the creator of Guy Kawasaki's Remarkable People podcast. He is a brand ambassador for Mercedes-Benz, an executive fellow of the Haas School of Business (UC Berkeley), and adjunct professor of the University of New South Wales. He was the chief evangelist of Apple and a trustee of the Wikimedia Foundation. He is also the author of Wise Guy, The Art of the Start 2.0, an over a dozen other books. Kawasaki has a BA from Stanford University, an MBA from UCLA, and an honorary doctorate from Babson College.



Guy Kawasaki's Remarkable People Podcast!



Alex is on the faculty of UVA Darden School of Business where he teaches courses on product design and digital development. Online @Coursera, he’s delivered over 200,000 courses. Before teaching, Alex started and sold two companies and he continues to advise and invest in digital ventures. His work on hypothesis-driven development is widely used by practitioners and instructors for new product and venture creation. Alex studied industrial engineering and economics at Stanford University. 



Mina Yoo is the inventor of Heroclip and CEO of Lulabop Inc (DBA Heroclip), an active lifestyle brand that produces simple solutions to everyday challenges. Prior to Heroclip, she was an academic at the University of Washington and Stanford University, where she taught and researched entrepreneurship, social networks and economic development. Mina is the author of Be an InventHer: An Everywoman’s Guide to Creating the Next Big Thing. She has a B.A. in Sociology from Brown University and a dual Ph.D. in Business and Sociology from the University of Michigan.

Mina will be sharing her experiences re-prioritizing Heroclip's efforts in the wake of recent brick & mortar store closures.



James Morin, a Maine native, started his sales career at a fortune 500 Medical Device company. From there, he joined Putney, a startup specialty pharmaceutical company that raised $60M in fundraising and sold for $200M in 2016. Following the acquisition, James became a co-owner of Flowfold. Flowfold is a Made in USA manufacturer making wallets, bags, and other everyday accessories for men and women. James is Chief Operating Officer and President of Sales and is responsible for all sales channels. 

James will be sharing his experiences pivoting Flowfold’s manufacturing capacity toward making masks for hospitals.


Guy Kawasaki's 10 points:

  1. Beware anecdotes

  2. Sales fixes everything

  3. Assume you’re on your own

  4. Marathon/decathalon not sprint

  5. Cash is king—not your image

  6. Cut deeper than you think

  7. Ask “Therefore, what?”

  8. Make something unique and valuable

  9. Do business direct

  10. Perfect digital skills such as email and videoconferencing

​Adaptation -vs- Survival - James Morin, Co-owner and COO of Flowfold

  1. Adaptation vs survival? 

    1. The first thing to understand is to the WHY behind the pivot. Did you discover something during the creation of your MVP that is potentially more valuable than the product you were originally trying to design? Or is your business model broken or has the economy/market shifted to the extent that you couldn’t survive without a pivot. 

    2. Sometimes I suppose it could be both. If you look at Slack, for example, it was originally an integral tool that they used to help them make a game called Glitch. But they also realized that the game company wasn’t going to work so they pivoted to the launching Slack. 

    3. Flowfold Example is the later. It’s about Survival. 

  2. Check your ego at the door: 

    1. Admittedly this is easier if you’re pivoting due to survival. But all the same. People and their ideas are sticky. You HAVE to admit that you brain shield, your great idea is either

      1. not that great

      2. great but there’s something greater of

      3. great but there’s a god damn pandemic. 

    2. There is also a financial component to this. You need to be able to look at your books. The books didn’t care how much I wanted to stick to making outdoor and lifestyle gear. The books told me a story. If we didn’t pivot, we were letting people go. We had no choice but to check out ego at the door 

  3. Self-Awareness 

    1. If you pivoting, It’s VERY important to understand three  things 

      1. What YOU are good at 

      2. What YOUR TEAM is good at 

      3. What YOUR BUSINESS is good at 

    2. Flowfold example 

      1. Technical equipment

  4. Proof of Concept 

    1. MVP 

    2. UI/UX Feedback. 

  5. Scale 

    1. Operations

      1. Source new raw materials 

      2. Create SOPs - in our case 

      3. MOQs

      4. shipping practices 

      5. Training materials 

    2. Production 

      1. Find new partners 

        1. Contract manufacturing 

  6. Legal- Last on purpose (beg for forgiveness than ask for permission) 

    1. Insurance: Are you still insure? 

    2. Fine Print: “As Is” statement” 

    3. Changes to the operating agreement?

Insight from Professor Alex Cowan of the University of Virginia:

What’s a strong visual plan that I can use to keep the team foster focus, shared understanding, and discussion related to that?

Alex recommends starting with an Agile Team Charter that anchors in job-centric/user-centric view of what the firm is focused on during a given iteration/pivot of the firm.


What’s a pivot? What’s Lean Startup?

Alex’s Lean Startup Intro: This short tutorial will introduce you to the fundamentals of Lean Startup and get you started applying it to your own projects.


How do I apply Lean Startup? How does it relate to product design/design thinking?

Alex’s Tutorial on Hypothesis-Driven Development: This tutorial will help you unpack your ideas into testable pieces and apply the right testing to the right pieces. For example, it will step you through:

  1. Solving the Right Problem: finding out what’s on your customer’s A-lst

  2. Finding the Right Solution/Demand-Wise: testing whether your proposition is better enough than what your prospective customer has now and whether they’ll act. 

  3. Finding the Right Solution/Usability-Wise: taking a focused, disciplined, but user-centric view of how to articulate what’s important on the user journey and iteratively test it to make it better.


For even more detail, see Alex’s course by the same name: Hypothesis-Driven Development (online course).


I’d like to hear more about using consulting as a concierge vehicle to apply Lean Startup.

Here’s a talk Alex did for the Lean Startup Circle-SF: B2B Hacks: Getting from Consulting to Scalable Products

Who in the world is Alex Cowan?


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