How 3 Companies Thrived By Evolving Their Business
Knowing the right time to evolve your business can help your company stay relevant and continue to grow.
Given the high risk of business failure, how do companies beat the odds? Often, it boils down to pivoting at the right moment.
Take it from Glitch, Amabiotics and Techstars—three businesses that embraced change at the right time to reach their full potential.
Focusing on a Core Business
For New York City-based Glitch—the company behind Stack Overflow, Stack Exchange and Trello—achieving its potential was a matter of focusing on its fastest growing products.
Here’s what happened: Glitch began in 2000 as Fog Creek Software, a consultancy that evolved into a software development company.
By 2017, Fog Creek Software saw massive growth in Glitch, its web-based community app for coders.
The opportunity was clear, according to Jordan Harris, Glitch’s Chief Operating Officer. So that year, the company divested its issue tracker product, FogBugz, and doubled down on Glitch—rebranding itself in the process.
“You have to listen to the market and understand what’s happening,” Harris said.
Making Science Commercial
Renowned biologist and geneticist Antoine Danchin founded Amabiotics to bring microbiome-derived medicines to market to fight age-related diseases. But he soon learned that passion alone doesn’t guarantee business success.
Here’s their story: Danchin hired a business-minded CEO who recognized the need to get patients the care they needed faster. Understanding the challenges in life sciences, he relocated the company from Paris to the burgeoning New York City biotech hub.
“There are great opportunities for early-stage biotech—namely funding—which we would never get in Paris,” said Nicole McKnight, Amabiotics’ Chief Operating Officer.
Bringing together founders, corporations, mentors and investors to help startups grow their businesses, Techstars needed to adapt to meet the growing needs of its entrepreneur community, which was growing quickly in many markets around the world.
How did they do it? In just three years, Techstars took its seed accelerator programs global and tripled the number of programs available. This allowed the company to increase the number of networking opportunities, helping startup founders who continually ask, “Now what?” to build innovative solutions they couldn’t create otherwise.
“It’s a really big change from being largely US-based three to four years ago,” said Jenny Lawton, Chief Innovation Officer at Techstars. “Taking this step is allowing us to continue to realize our mission to be the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed. There is so much opportunity around the world, and we want to be there to help make it a reality.”
Knowing When and How to Change
Whether you’re an early stage startup or a 20-year veteran, evolution is a necessary part of your journey.
“If you remain flexible, you’re open to being able to change your business direction,” Harris said.
How do you make the right decisions? It starts with being mindful about what you’re doing and why. “If you’re intentional about how you’re thinking and doing things, it really makes a difference,” Lawton said.
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