Surviving and Thriving in an Age of Personalization: Pivot or Perish

Since FountainBlue’s launch in January 2006, we coached tech executives and advised tech entrepreneurs in the FountainBlue community. More information about our Pivot or Perish approach to tech advising is below and more information about our coaching services is available at

PivotOrPerishFountainBlue’s Pivot or Perish consulting paradigm was created based on decades of involvement, research and consulting experience, working with Silicon Valley tech executives, innovators and entrepreneurs. FountainBlue’s approach posits that The Age of Personalization will forever change the way business works and that companies big and small need to Pivot or Perish to remain relevant and continue to innovate.

Our research and findings show that even billion dollar companies such as Kodak, Blockbuster and Borders are going under, and indeed entire industries ranging from big box retail to the record industry, from travel planning to printed publications such as books and periodicals, from brokerage companies to travel agencies have shifted and renewed. Industries positioned for more change include cable television and telephone industries.

Industry Shifts


We consult with corporate leaders who need to empower their people, revisit their processes, and envision a customer-centric future, leveraging technology. We recognize that what-brought-successes to big companies in the past may not necessarily position them for success in an Age of Personalization. Therefore, we help company leaders think differently about how to be more collaborative, more global, more technology-driven and more customer focused.

We consult with tech start-ups to help them create and implement breakthrough ideas which leverage technology, focus on the individualized needs of customers. and therefore become the kind of up-starts that can transform whole industries.

The foundational beliefs we have regarding the Age of Personalization are that:

  1. Technology is making it possible to create and deliver personalized products and services to increasingly discerning customers.
  2. Technology is connecting and empowering customers.
  3. Customers want and expect personalized solutions.
  4. Companies need to understand and deliver on what customers want.
  5. Understanding why customers want what they want will help companies plan for the future.
  6. Back-end operations, management, infrastructure and processes need to be integrated and aligned in order to sustainably deliver what the customers want cost-effectively.
  7. Company leaders need to plan and strategize with all stakeholders to deliver what customers need.
  8. Local vendors, partners and providers may become an integral part of delivering products and services to the door of customers.
  9. Only the right vision, strategy and execution, delivered by the right leaders will succeed.
  10. Success is a moving target, for solutions must continually evolve to serve the needs of the customer and to reflect new market trends.​​


About Linda Holroyd

As CEO and primary consultant for FountainBlue and its Pivot or Perish consulting initiatives, Linda Holroyd has direct marketing, strategic and management experience in the following industry areas:

  • Software: (Social media measurement, Resume matching system, Mobile app development, Wide range of cloud projects)
  • Hardware: (Mobile sensors, Semiconductor)
  • Medical device: (Hydration management, Biosensor)
  • Pharma: (Digestive health, tissue regeneration, wound care, CRO)
  • Clean Energy: (smart grid, sensors, equipment, electric cars, water purification, energy diagnostics)
  • Business Services: (business process improvement, product design and development, cloud-based HR and leadership development)
  • Consumer: (Food and retail)

Proven Success and Experience with Startup Companies

Launched a high-tech, service-oriented web consultancy in the emerging internet field. Recruited, led and managed a team of 38 programmers, designers, marketers, and operations staff people through the start-up, development, and transition period of organization. Built a 98-member client base which generated over $1 million dollars in annual revenue for three consecutive years.

Provided marketing, sales, operations and HR support for three emerging start-ups in the document imaging, file security and web development space. Accomplishments include writing a critically-acclaimed tech manual and leading sales efforts for each organization. Two of the start-ups were purchased and one of them is still running.

Business Development and Corporate Alliances

Strategized with entrepreneurial clients to identify corporate partners and initial customers and organized and messaged content for presentation to prospects and clients and initiate and grow partnerships.

Forged partnerships with the tech icons across the valley, in support of FountainBlue’s When She Speaks, Women in Leadership Series, featuring senior women professionals, hosted at premier technology companies each month.


  • Momentum is the key to any successful business, and Linda helped us create that momentum in spades. It is a tribute to her passion, dedication, energy and vision that the FountainBlue brand and community has grown so quickly.
  • ​Always starting with strategic goals, FountainBlue engages leaders and works with them to articulate objectives which would also serve and engage the needs of niche customers.
  • FountainBlue dynamically factors in business and leadership trends when working with organizations to crystallize objectives and understand the needs of customers.​
  • FountainBlue has its fingers on the pulse of the community and helps deliver data, information and connections which inform, impassion and engage, leading to energy and focused results.
  • FountainBlue helped me crystallize my value-add and strategize with me to find my fit and then grow first myself, and then my company.
  • Linda has tremendous bandwidth for understanding complex technical facts well enough to converse on the business opportunities, implications and direction.
  • Linda is equally impressive at articulating the vision I’m seeking, and setting things in motion to make it happen. She is scary smart and equally kind and compassionate.
  • I have never seen anyone so deeply listen, so quickly get it, and then apply it to practical ways to build momentum for my business. It is quite impressive.
  • Linda doesn’t get the technical details about our company, but her razor sharp focus on the business and people issues have fundamentally changed the way we see our business, and the direction our business is going.
  • It is FountainBlue’s ability to look around the corner and identify trends that helped us serve an anticipated needs, keeping us in the game, and even ahead of the field.
  • Linda Holroyd is the best kind of connector: one who gets what needs to be done for your business, and works with you to develop the strategy to get there, leveraging her impressive network and talents.
  • Linda combines a crystal clear understanding of business management with an enormous amount of energy for producing results. She works at the speed of light, cuts through complexity, focusing on the core of what needs to be done. She can be relied upon without fail and has the highest integrity of anyone I know.
  • Linda presents information in a way that makes people see more clearly and has an extraordinary ability to translate skills into actual positions and markets.
  • Linda has tremendous drive, a sound business sense and excellent people skills and can be counted upon to make things happen!
  • I’ve worked with hundreds of corporate executives at all levels, but Linda’s business savvy, creative ideas, collaborative style and results-orientation make her stand out.​​


About Our Blog: Pivot or Perish: Innovating in an Age of Personalization

Marketing leadership will facilitate the transition from an Age of Information, where we are inundated with data and information, to an Age of Personalization, where we leverage technology to deliver customized solutions for demanding customers.

Our posts are designed to stimulate thinking and reflection and prod our clients and community members to take action and reach toward higher and different goals and results for themselves and for their companies through this transition. Individual articles may be forwarded and shared with permission and full credit given to FountainBlue and Linda Holroyd. Read our monthly blogs on this topic, or follow us at Below is a list of our topics and articles.


An Age of Personalization

Corporate Qualities

Innovation Opportunities

The Age of the Customer

We will continue to curate content at as we advise and inform our entrepreneurial and executive clients and community.

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