In November 2010, the Venmo team found itself at an inflection point. The payments-processing startup had only $500,000 left in the bank, just a few hundred regular monthly users, and no idea of how to speed its growth--or make money. A few years later, PayPal would save Venmo by acquiring its parent company, Braintree; many folks know that story. But few know how close Venmo was to making a drastic pivot before ever reaching that exit. Here, co-founder Iqram Magdon-Ismail recalls the moment that kept Venmo from giving up on its mission--and how he learned a valuable lesson about when to pivot and when to stay the course.

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