Channels & Partners

with Steve Blank

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Joint alliances promote complementary products.

Steve Blank

8x Entrepreneur, Author, Customer Development Expert

Lessons Learned

You do not need strategic alliances and joint partnerships on startup day #1.

You need earlyvangelists before you need mainstream customers.


Lesson: Channels & Partners with Steve Blank

Step #6 Joint: Joint alliances promote complementary products

The next type of partnerships might be joint business development; joint promotion of complementary products. One might be the dominant player. The best example of this in the computer industry was Intel. Now historically, chips ended up to be inside a computer that the consumer never saw at all. In fact the only name on the outside of the box was the manufacturer but Intel in the 1980s changed that game. They said what if we paid PC manufacturers to put the phrase Intel inside on the outside of the box and what used to be just this unknown piece of silicon inside a computer actually became a valuable brand through joint business development, joint promotion by sharing advertising dollars and sales programs.

As I said earlier, one of the biggest mistakes startup make is confusing strategic alliances and joint partnerships for what you need on day one. In an existing market, you actually might need these guys, but in a resegment and certainly a new market, these are not needed for earlyvangelists and so you need to think through when do I need joint partnerships and when will I be hitting mainstream customers. Because remember, most of these partnerships tend to fail.

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