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Xconomy Forum: The Power of the Pivot

12/4/2012 2:00 PM - 6:00 PM

It's commonly said that Silicon Valley forgives failure. But it might be closer to the truth to say that it forgives near failure. If you're a startup founder, nobody wants to see you give up on your vision. Much better to pivot to a related idea while you've still got some capital in the bank.

The truth is that almost every successful company has pivoted at least once. In fact, the ability to pivot successfully might just be the single greatest talent a company can have. But can this ability be learned? What's the right time to change your product or your business model—and what are the ingredients of a great pivot?

At this special half-day Xconomy event, you'll hear stories of pivots that worked—and a few that failed—from entrepreneurs and investors in the thick of the Bay Area's startup ecosystem. We'll bring founders and leading startup gurus on stage to share frank, insider stories that hit on the big questions: What's the difference between a product pivot, a business model pivot, and a whole-company pivot? When is a pivot justified, and when is it just a "mulligan," to use Mike Maples' term? Can a startup pivot too frequently, or too many times? How do you hold on to your higher purpose through a pivot?

The setting for this educational event will be PARC, the site of some of the most important technology innovations in Valley history—and the product of a successful pivot back in 2002, when Xerox spun it off as a contract-research subsidiary. We hope you'll join us for a productive afternoon of conversation and close analysis.

Confirmed Speakers:

Steve Blank, author of The Startup Owner's Manual and The Four Steps to the Epiphany

Stephen Hoover, CEO, PARC

Rich Aberman, Co-Founder and COO, WePay

Conrad Burke, CEO, Innovalight (now part of DuPont)

Andy Chen, Co-founder and VP of Strategic Partnerships, PowerReviews (now part of BazaarVoice)

Duncan Davidson, Managing Director, Bullpen Capital

Sunil Nagaraj, Founder and CEO, Triangulate; Senior Associate, Bessemer Venture Partners

Will Price, CEO, Flite

Leighton Read, Venture Partner, Alloy Ventures

Adam Wiggins, Chief Technology Officer and Co-founder, Heroku (now part of

Cheryl Yeoh, CEO and Founder,





Registration & Networking: 1:00 - 2:00 pm

Program: 2:00 - 5:00 pm

Networking reception: 5:00 - 6:00 pm

Learn More: Xconomy Forum The Power of the Pivot

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