To pivot is, essentially, to fail gracefully. While the term has been in the start-up lexicon for decades, it is coming up more often in the current Internet boom, as entrepreneurs find that many investors are willing to keep the money flowing even if a start-up takes a hard left turn.
"Ideas are like lightning in a bottle, so if the company is small enough and didn't seem to capture lightning on their first try, it makes sense to try again," said Ben Horowitz, one of the founders of the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. "The art of the pivot is to do it fast and early. The older and bigger the business, the harder it is to change directions."