Someone on Quora defines a pivot as ” a significant and deliberately engineered event”. In the case of iteration, the adjustment is small while in pivot, a total revamp of the value proposition happens. There was a check-in service called Burbn before it pivoted into Instagram. Snapdeal pivoted from a deals enabling site to an online marketplace. Business models are pivoted when the original idea does not seem to be working.
But I pivoted my hobby
I recently updated the education section of my Linkedin profile with bookbhook.com. bookbhook is my digital learning project built around something that I have loved doing since i remember- reading.
I have used public transport to work (1.5 hours both ways) daily for the past 4 years. Almost all of this time goes into reading. I read, on an average, 3 books a month, primarily non fiction. People around me love to discuss books but they all say they do not get enough time to read. And some were honest enough to admit they did not like reading “thick” books but definitely wanted to know more. A couple of months back I was painfully made aware of the fact that I do not “have digital marketing” skills. So began the quest of combining a “human need” with a “professional gap”.
And then bookbhook happened….an email service where I share one book summary every week. In building and promoting this service, I am learning digital marketing by actually building a non commercial Minimum Viability Product. And it keeps me connected with my hobby!
So how has my hobby pivoted? I significantly and deliberately changed my reading habit-both in content as well as style. Since bookbhook service began, I have been re-reading books from my existing collection. I am also reading differently. I now read more as an editor -identifying the critical information bits,eliminating sections that repeat a thought, taking copious notes and then synthesizing these into the lovingly curated and handcrafted weekly book summary. I have not read a single new book for a significant amount of time. And when I am re-reading books, I feel I am reading a lot more intensely, capturing a lot more thoughts and views from the same book that I had already read a couple of months or years back.
The irony is, in trying to share what I have loved reading earlier, I have stopped reading anything new. And paradoxically, in re-reading books I had already read, I am discovering completely new perspectives. Isn’t that pivoting a habit (hobby) ?
The idea of book summaries is nothing unique. I am a big fan of online book summary providers. I just thought this was the easiest way for me to learn basics of digital marketing. What do you folks think? Do share your views. I am on twitter @gagupta & @bookbhook.
Some snapshots from the iOS app which I took help from a developer friend to bring to life.The iOS app is here
This is a cross-post from what I earlier published on Medium & LinkedIn