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When pivots pay off: BuzzFeed buys Kingfish Labs


BuzzFeed is buying Kingfish Labs, for its ability to use data to make better Facebook ads.

TechCrunch is reporting that BuzzFeed is buying Kingfish Labs, for an as-yet undisclosed sum. It's the first acquisition for the meme-making-machine that BuzzFeed, founded in 2006, has become. But more importantly, it shows how a startup can "pivot," in the language of tech entrepreneurship, from one business model to... a completely different model.

In a conversation I conducted this morning at the Drucker Business Forum — held at KPCC's Crawford Family Forum — Allen Moore of Idealab's New Ventures Group and I briefly delved into this phenomenon. Pivoting is something that the founders of startups need to be prepared to do. As Allen put it, they need to be able to drive full speed ahead, with one foot pushing the pedal to the metal — while still keeping one foot hovering above the brake.