Conceptual Modeling to Support Pivoting – An Example from Twitter

  • Vik PantEmail author
  • Eric Yu
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11158)


Pivoting is used by many startups and large enterprises to reconfigure their structures and relationships in line with their changing environments and requirements. However, pivoting is a non-trivial undertaking that has far reaching consequences for the focal organization. Conceptual models of actor intentionality can be used to design and analyze organizational pivots in a systematic and structured manner. Conceptual modeling is preferable to ad hoc evaluation as it can provide more detailed and systematic analysis of pivoting decisions. It can be used to uncover mistakes and gaps in reasoning that are missed or obscured via ad hoc evaluation. Actor- and goal-modeling can be used to differentiate among beneficial and deleterious pivoting options. Correctly designed and implemented pivots can avoid substantial value destruction from direct damages as well as opportunity loss for the focal organization. In this paper we present conceptual models of pivoting based on a retrospective case example of Twitter.


Pivoting Modeling Entrepreneurship Design Analysis 


  1. 1.
    Ries, E.: The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses. Crown Publishing Group, New York (2011)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Townsend, K.: Why Microsoft’s Linux lovefest goes hand-in-hand with its Azure cloud strategy, 15 July 2016.
  3. 3.
    Penenberg, A.L.: Amazon’s Pivot, 02 May 2017.
  4. 4.
  5. 5.
    McCarthy, A.: Twitter Unclicks Buy Button, 19 January 2017.
  6. 6.
    Gagliordi, N.: Twitter kills the buy button, ends focus on ecommerce, 19 January 2017.
  7. 7.
    Lunden, I.: Twitter is phasing out the “Buy” button, will continue to offer donations, 18 January 2017.
  8. 8.
    Rey, J.D.: Twitter’s ‘Buy’ button is officially dead, 18 January 2017.
  9. 9.
    Bajwa, S.S., Wang, X., Duc, A.N., Abrahamsson, P.: “Failures” to be celebrated: an analysis of major pivots of software startups. Empir. Softw. Eng. 22(5), 2373–2408 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Pant, V., Yu, E., Tai, A.: Towards reasoning about pivoting in startups and large enterprises with i*. In: Poels, G., Gailly, F., Serral Asensio, E., Snoeck, M. (eds.) PoEM 2017. LNBIP, vol. 305, pp. 203–220. Springer, Cham (2017). Scholar
  11. 11.
    Pant, V., Yu, E.: Modeling simultaneous cooperation and competition among enterprises. Bus. Inf. Syst. Eng. 60(1), 39–54 (2018)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Yu, E.S.K., Giorgini, P., Maiden, N., Mylopoulos, J. (eds.): Social Modeling for Requirements Engineering. MIT Press, Cambridge (2011)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Pant, V., Yu, E.: Modeling strategic complementarity and synergistic value creation in coopetitive relationships. In: Ojala, A., Holmström Olsson, H., Werder, K. (eds.) ICSOB 2017. LNBIP, vol. 304, pp. 82–98. Springer, Cham (2017). Scholar
  14. 14.
    Samavi, R., Yu, E., Topaloglou, T.: Strategic reasoning about business models: a conceptual modeling approach. IseB 7(2), 171–198 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Giannoulis, C., Petit, M., Zdravkovic, J.: Towards a unified business strategy language: a meta-model of strategy maps. In: IFIP Working Conference on the Practice of Enterprise Modeling (PoEM), pp. 205–216 (2010)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Kim, C.H., Son, Y.J., Kim, T.Y., Kim, K., Baik, K.: A modeling approach for designing a value chain of virtual enterprise. Int. J. Adv. Manuf. Technol. 28(9–10), 1025–1030 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Cardoso, E., Mylopoulos, J., Mate, A., Trujillo, J.: Strategic enterprise architectures. In: Horkoff, J., Jeusfeld, Manfred A., Persson, A. (eds.) PoEM 2016. LNBIP, vol. 267, pp. 57–71. Springer, Cham (2016). Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of InformationUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

Personalised recommendations