1 + 1 = 3: Synergy.
Some of the best advice that I got early on in my business career was to be very careful about who I partner with. That advice is still very true, but in the Internet age we live in, there are multiple kinds of partnerships that didn't exist before. These new kinds of partnerships present a whole new level of risk and opportunity.
Ten years ago, entering into a business partnership implied a much stronger, and legally binding arrangement that was full of risks and involved a great deal of planning, lawyers, financial considerations, and so on.
However, when I talk about partnerships in this chapter I'm referring to a much less structured type of arrangement. For example, in previous chapters I talked about joint venture partners, and “three-way win” partners. Some of these partnerships are entered into with only a few minutes of research and negotiation involved, and the partnership activity lasts only a few days. In other cases longer-term partnerships are formed, but in nearly all cases there is a casual and speedy process of compatibility evaluation and agreement on the terms. Nothing is signed, reputations are the handshake, and business goes forward rapidly.
Those who abuse this simple unwritten system go down in flames so quickly that there is a built-in incentive to carefully guard your reputation.
If you recall, in the introduction to this book I talked about the partner that I share a 50/50 arrangement ...