Eric Posen and Dan Altmann are the co-founders of Naritiv (Disney ’14), a mobile media company born on Snapchat that went through a pivot during Techstars. This post gives insight on how they realized a pivot was necessary, how they executed it and their reflections on the decision.
What was going on before your decision to pivot?
We were a platform to help creators monetize directly from their biggest fans through interactive content. The focus was on YouTubers. Fans could come watch content from their favorite creators and donate money for awesome rewards like digital downloads and exclusive swag.
How did you execute the pivot?
By the time we started Techstars, YouTube added a feature called Fan Funding which directly competed with our product. We were already fighting an uphill battle in a crowded space. At the same time, a few things things were happening:
- Disney was trying to figure out new mobile platforms like Snapchat.
- The team itself was spending more time consuming content on mobile-first platforms like Snapchat than anywhere else.
- Many of the creators we work with were spending more time on Snapchat and mobile platforms than YouTube. So we decided to dive in head first on Snapchat as we felt (and still feel) it represents the future of mobile content and the Disney/Techstars folks were extremely supportive.
So, we dove in on a product that would connect brands and publishers to Snapchat in ways they didn’t understand at the time and match them with the best creators.
We were heads down for 8 weeks working on the product and the mentorship from Disney and other Techstars mentors were amazing in helping us shape what we are now.
Any regrets? Was it the right decision?
No regrets. You can’t be afraid to admit things aren’t working and we never have been. Going through this with our MD, Cody Simms, and others within the program was a blessing and we couldn’t have done it without them.
Any advice for other founders who are considering a pivot?
It’s a really hard thing to do and super stressful to go through, but at the end of the day, you have to do what is best for the future of your company. If you have the right investors and advisors they will understand that. Get a lot of feedback from friends, mentors and existing investors.