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Lago's no BS pivot story
In Europe the passion for unicorns is just as real as the stigma attached to pivoting.
A few words about what we’re building first!
Lago is an Open Source Billing API for B2B SaaS, backed by Y Combinator. We’re an Open Source alternative to Chargebee and Stripe Billing, with an opinionated focus on product-led B2B SaaS. We previously built the home-grown billing system of Qonto.
In short, any B2B SaaS can implement a product-led pricing with minimum efforts, using Lago. You can even clone Segment.com’s pricing, or Algolia’s, Klaviyo’s, Swan or Column’s (BaaS), by using our templates. Interested or curious? Let’s talk!
I finally took time to share our “pivot story” with Sifted.eu: hard pivoting is hard, and even harder in Europe. I tried to be as transparent as possible, because we just need to normalize pivots, and prepare for a wave of pivots with the current downturn.
Europe needs to catch up on pivot culture
When we started Lago, my cofounder and I built the product we’d have loved to use ourselves. This is often the path recommended to founders — including by Y Combinator where we got a coveted spot last summer.
But after hundreds of user feedback calls and product iterations — and even getting our first paying customers — we came to a realisation. We had built the data tool we had wanted years earlier as a growth team at fintech unicorn Qonto. But there weren’t a lot of growth teams out there looking for a tool as technical and data-driven as the one we had wanted.
It was time to pivot.
Where is the support in Europe for pivots?
Throughout the six-weeks it took to choose a new idea and the 3 months it took to reship a product, we, unfortunately, found very little support in the European ecosystem. It seems in Europe the passion for unicorns is just as real as the stigma attached to pivoting.
This needs to stop. Given all the companies that raised “because they could” without a product, and even less, product-market fit, we need to be prepared for a wave of pivots. And that’s fine; that’s been the typical early-stage path in the US.
If we continue stigmatizing pivots, and not supporting founding teams during this delicate phase, that can only lead to two outcomes: either these teams stick to the initial idea until the money runs out, or they decide to shut down prematurely. This is also likely to burn out a generation of founders, who could be brilliant repeat entrepreneurs afterwards.
This is why we want to share our own experiences of what worked and what we would have done differently a second time.
I just thought redirecting you to Sifted was the fair thing to do. The article is free to read, if you’ve hit a paywall, you can open the link in an incognito tab.
Have a great summer!