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  7.20. Step 2: Adjust or Move On (3 min.)

Even at this stage of the process, it is possible to discover you were wrong. In such cases it is better to adjust or move on. For many entrepreneurs, the answer is to adjust. Consider the startup Riya, which was founded by experienced web entrepreneur, Munjal Shah, to develop face-recognition technology. Shah’s vision was that users could use the software to search and organize their photos. In many ways Shah was right, and customers expressed not only enthusiasm but over 94% satisfaction with the product when surveyed. The only problem was that customers never returned to use the service again.

The reasons for this were confusing to Shah, and it took him some time to come to grips with the need to change his vision. “Changing means acknowledging that your initial vision wasn’t right,” he explained, “and that can be very difficult.”However, Shah noticed that users seemed to be using the service to do visual searches on the web, like searching for a shoe or other product based on an image. Shah changed the company name and website to and slowly began iterating on the features. Less than two years after making the change, customers were making more than $100 million in purchases a year on the site!


(See Nail It Then Scale It, pg. 132)