Going on three years ago Josh Mitchell pitched me on the idea of ‘Pivots’ – a professional wingman or wingwoman – I’m pretty sure the title is gender specific to female, and doubly sure that the Urban Dictionary could clear up my confusion, should I want to verify my memory’s guesswork. I honestly didn’t give it much thought at the first, but the idea grew on me.
We brought the concept to life over the course of a Startup Weekend in Raleigh, NC in April 2009, about the time I thought it wise to start recording things online in blog format. Dubbed ‘Pivot’ and then quickly changed to ‘Miss Pivot’, the company went through some phases.
As I first wrote this post, I forgot that Miss Pivot is an incredibly media rich company, so you may choose to ignore my blathering and just watch the cool videos.
Escort service, right?
I kid about the escorts, of course, but it was a conversation that we had a lot. Differentiating between the sex and the science was a regular thing.
Nothing altogether meaningful was done with Miss Pivot until Kevin Emmons came into the picture. We struggled early on with the branding issues that arose from the idea of having a woman on your arm who wasn’t your date, but was helping you negotiate the pathways of the social stratosphere. It became clear very quickly that we had to change the narrative about Miss Pivot from its focus on ‘help from a female in your dating life’ to what having a female on your arm provided in terms of social proof and overall confidence.
Party like it’s 2009
Having ignored our fledgling concept for the majority of the summer, we set up a September launch party in Indianapolis to drive some interest and buzz around the concept of Miss Pivot. In a word, it succeeded. The party got the attention of some local press, got the company in front of some of its first clients, and it was a damned good time.
Later on, one of the dating ‘boot camps’
By partnering with local bars and clubs during their early and off hours, we were able to negotiate venues for little or no cash, and raise awareness about what we were working on. (Imagine the SXSW party strategy, but without the saturation and outrageous cost). We found that we were good at throwing events, and there was some money to be made in them.
The Confidence Company
Josh and Kevin found in their one-on-one consulting engagements that a lot of the same topics were coming up. How do I approach someone in a bar? How do I keep the conversation moving? How do I tell if he/she is interested?
The fix to these problems presented itself in events that focused on education instead of strictly mingling. Miss Pivot began offering seminars and we put our own spin on speed dating for a while, using Pivots as the X factor that kept conversations from getting stagnant. We called it Elemental Dating, and it was by all accounts a social exercise that had someone looking out for you (Pivots) in case you got stuck in the corner with the cat lady from eHarmony.
By the time Miss Pivot had set up its 3rd and 4th topical seminars, something was becoming obvious and apparent to us: our content and message has a more universal application than the one we’re currently giving it. The search for a more ‘broadcast’ medium was underway.
I put my camera on.
Miss Pivot TV offered itself as the immediate answer to “how do we show what we’re doing without physically being in front of someone?” This one explains itself more readily in video format, and there are several other episodes as I’m sure you’ll find out.
Let’s write a book?
By the time 2011 rolled around, Miss Pivot had developed enough valuable content that an obvious next step was to package it up in a more concise form. What was the best medium? A DVD of Miss Pivot TV and our seminars? A book? As the actual topical theme of the piece emerged (a book on body language) – it was obvious that our efforts would have to be delivered on a visually stimulating medium. Boring way to say – we chose to build for the mobile (tablet) markets. And the rest, well it’s not history yet, but the videos do a MUCH better job of explaining. Enjoy.