Midjourney prompt: abstract illustration Realize: Generating Insights to Fuel Your Pivot

Realize: Generating Insights to Fuel Your Pivot

Part 5 of the Reinvention Series

Jason Shen
The Pragmatic Pivot
8 min readDec 12, 2022

--

So you went out and asked your users a bunch of questions. You explored. You probably discovered a whole lot of new information about the ways in which you can tweak (or maybe radically change) your product.

Well, users are THE best R&D resources you will ever find. The absolute gold standard. But to really tap into their value, you have to know how to turn all that data into actionable insights.

What’s Your Secret

You want to build a high-value product or service that you can monetize. So the first thing you need to do is take a good look at all the information you’ve gathered and find a starting point. Ask yourself — “what’s my secret?”

A secret is something that fundamentally runs contrary to public opinion. Peter Thiel, whatever you may think of his politics, has a good point when he says that there is always a secret at the core of every successful business.

But the hard truth is that in a build-in-public world, most “secret sauces” are fairly shallow. You think blockchain will change how people transact online? Or that machine learning will make it easier to find the right event to attend? Yawn.

Real secrets are run deep. To use a cliched example, it’s about reaching way into that haystack of noise and find the needle of true signal.

The four types of secrets

There are roughly speaking four different types of secrets that are relevant for founders trying to pivot.

1. Secret Problem

This is an unsolved problem that isn’t obvious to most people selling to the target market. When you chance upon a problem hiding in plain sight in what seems like an already saturated space, you have the opportunity to be the first to pitch a convenient solution to the existing customer base.

--

--

Jason Shen
The Pragmatic Pivot

Rediscover your spark and come back stronger | Executive coach • PM for public groups on FB • the resilience guy • 3x startup founder • Stanford gymnast 🏆