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Partnerships 101 Expert Roundtable with Ann Bordetsky

Zoom recording
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💫 Short Summary

The video discusses the importance of partnerships in business development, focusing on creating value, driving growth, and enhancing products and services. It emphasizes the need for mutual benefits, strategic planning, and effective negotiation to maximize the impact of partnerships. Successful examples from companies like Uber and Twitter are highlighted, along with insights on early-stage partnerships and distribution strategies. The session concludes with recommendations on building warm relationships, understanding the distinction between customers and partners, and navigating negotiations with Enterprise customers. Additional advice includes starting with trial periods, prioritizing key metrics, and leveraging partnerships for M&A opportunities and fundraising.

✨ Highlights
📊 Transcript
Highlights of Cohort-Based Learning Experiences
00:16
SEMA discusses designing cohort-based learning experiences for reading and writing teachers, focusing on K12 education partnerships and potential model changes based on district needs.
Ryan introduces Workit, a company focusing on individual roles like product management, launching a community for mentors and peers.
Anna shares her project Cido, a Marketplace for high school students and young professionals facilitating career exploration through conversations with professionals.
The importance of forming partnerships with students, young professionals, nonprofits, business organizations, and employers to increase accessibility and get more advisors on board.
03:22
Maintaining a balance between what partners want and what your organization needs is crucial for successful partnerships.
Participants share experiences and insights on early stage partnerships, driving growth, and content partnerships.
Exploring different partnership models and deriving value from partnerships is a key focus of the discussion.
Emphasis on brainstorming and discussing questions to ensure participants gain valuable insights and knowledge on partnerships and business development.
Importance of Partnerships in Business Development.
06:21
The speaker has extensive experience in venture capital and Silicon Valley, transitioning from environmental nonprofits to tech companies like Twitter and Uber.
Emphasizes the significance of partnerships for young and growing companies, stressing the need for the right approach to leverage them effectively.
Shares insights on how partnerships can help enhance products and services, highlighting the potential value and pitfalls in business development.
The value of partnerships in business growth.
09:32
Partnerships enhance product features and customer experience by integrating with other services.
Distribution through partnerships opens up new user acquisition channels and marketing opportunities.
Testing new markets and products with partners allows for trial runs before full implementation.
Partnerships drive growth, expansion into new markets, and help create competitive advantage in the industry.
Key Highlights on Building Successful Partnerships
13:49
Partnerships should focus on creating mutual value and quantifiable benefits, such as generating revenue, saving money, or offering new expansion opportunities.
Metrics and numbers should be used to track the success of partnerships and justify the allocation of resources.
Companies should prioritize partnerships that will have a significant impact on their goals and objectives, requiring product, engineering, marketing, and legal resources.
Importance of Partnerships for Early-Stage Companies
15:51
Partnerships should focus on driving distribution efficiently by considering marketing channels' performance.
Uber used user acquisition cost compared to paid marketing to evaluate partnership deals.
Partnerships can validate products, build credibility, and unlock customers, similar to early product partnerships.
Collaborations are crucial for generating customer excitement and product validation, especially in the early days of a company.
Key highlights on successful partnership building.
19:27
Understanding partner's priorities and being data-driven are essential for mutual benefit.
Transparency about goals and priorities is crucial for alignment in partnerships.
Knowing when to walk away from a partnership without mutual interest is important.
Brainstorming with partners to identify shared channels and resources can lead to successful collaborations.
Key highlights for forming successful distribution partnerships:
21:55
Consider the social presence and customer base of potential partners.
Ensure partnerships are mutually beneficial to both parties.
Success lies in follow-through and incentivizing desired actions.
Design incentives that motivate partners to fulfill their commitments.
Look to successful partnerships like Uber and Twitter for valuable insights on effective collaborations.
Uber implements a competitive process to sell a business unit losing $30 million a month.
24:29
The process involves inviting rental car companies and startups to bid on the partnership through a reverse auction.
The partnership offers an exclusive opportunity to serve Uber drivers.
The strategy aims to generate demand and ensure a smooth transition for the failing business unit.
Importance of creatively orchestrating business transactions.
26:26
Received hundreds of millions of dollars by selling part of the business and replacing it with a better product.
Founders should recognize their value and leverage it for favorable deals.
Testing or trialing partnerships with organizations is recommended for successful partnerships.
Emphasizes controlling timelines and negotiations to gain an upper hand advantage as a startup.
Key considerations for partnerships
29:51
Begin with a 30 to 60 day trial period to assess success before committing fully.
Metrics should focus on key growth areas to determine investment value.
Be selective about the information shared with partners to protect your company.
Avoid committing significant resources to partnerships that may not be successful.
Choose metrics that matter and drive investment decisions in partnerships.
Importance of Building Relationships in the Industry.
32:56
Building relationships with industry leaders can lead to M&A opportunities, fundraising, and exit strategies.
Always maintain options and leverage when approached for acquisition.
Consider building partnerships instead of being acquired, potentially as investors in future rounds or for market insights.
Knowing your endgame in relationships is crucial for effective negotiation and driving towards your goals as a founder CEO.
Considering a job opportunity at a smaller startup wanting to merge with their company.
35:59
Torn between staying true to the goal of being a Founder or accepting the resources and infrastructure offered by the startup.
Startup has an engaged community and investment that the speaker lacks.
Importance of considering conditions for acceptance like funding, compensation, and resources.
Advised to lay out requirements and evaluate if the opportunity aligns with goals and would be beneficial for the company.
Importance of Distinguishing Between Customers and Partners in Business.
38:49
Customers pay for and use the product, while partners create value for their own customers.
Partnerships involve unique commercial relationships where the partner does not directly use the product.
The dividing line between customers and partnerships is crucial for business clarity.
Examples include B2B products with individual end users, company buyers, and potential distribution partners like universities.
Best practices for partnering with Enterprise customers.
43:09
Emphasis on implementation, usage, and engagement for successful partnerships.
Importance of active product rollout within the organization for renewal.
Creating constraints for exclusivity and demand as a strategy to drive interest and adoption.
Importance of understanding the other side in negotiations.
44:51
Negotiation is a learned skill that requires assertiveness and empathy.
Partnership and contractual aspects are crucial in negotiations.
Legal terms aim at risk mitigation for both parties.
Leveraging information about the other side for advantage during negotiations.
Importance of clear commitments, deadlines, escalation and resolution paths, and resource requirements in contracts for partnerships.
47:33
Founders should prioritize creating a partnership framework and seek legal advice for protection.
Public discussion on partnerships is limited due to confidentiality agreements, with only headlines making it to the media.
Business development professionals are hesitant to share partnership details, often leaving the decision to reveal information to the CEO.
Limited availability of recommended follow-ups for partnership advice on social media poses a challenge in finding relevant resources.
Building partnerships and alliances through the book 'Negotiating The Impossible' is recommended for any context.
50:31
The book provides principles for creating partnerships beyond just the tech industry.
Cohort-based learning allows teachers to form a community of peers for idea sharing and reflection.
This learning method is considered more engaging and rigorous, increasing the likelihood of implementing new practices in the classroom.
Cohort-based learning is likened to a graduate school class, combining both asynchronous and synchronous components for a comprehensive learning experience.
Emphasis on self-paced learning platforms for engagement and scalability.
53:10
FutureLearn highlighted as successful example of this approach.
Quality and engagement in courses may lead to higher costs.
Interest expressed in partnering with seed and series A companies in tech and adult learning sectors.
Mention of upcoming edtech dinner in September for networking and collaboration in Bay Area.
Mixed emotions towards a task.
55:31
Feeling tired but determined to continue.
Counting down before expressing love.
Mention of something being amazing.