KHOI | Blog

Pivoting Out of a Tarpit Idea

Sat, Jun 24, 2023 · 2 min read
Table of contents

YC YouTube video

What are tarpit ideas?

Tarpit ideas are ideas that people try but don’t pivot out quickly enough. It’s a cause of death for many companies.

Tarpit tends to be a great place to find fossilized remains. The reason is that tarpit resembles fresh water ponds so animals come across and get stuck, then die.

Tend to be consumer ideas

Why It’s Difficult

The bar is high. Founders don’t realize how good the current products are, or how many have been built and failed.


In 2000s, there was a boom in consumer products.

In 2010s, consumer mobile apps were booming.

Why They Don’t Work

The usual pitch: an app to discover new things …


Web3 opens up many possibilities that things can be rebuilt. However, these startups are pretty theoretical.

Eg: OpenSea is not theoretical at all. They have a product that’s easy to understand.