Winning Together

Henry Ford once said "Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success”. With today’s pressures about getting quick results and tightly managing resources, teamwork and partnerships are the essence of success. Yet, I have felt quite a great level of confusion between those aspects of collaboration.... let’s try to shed some light.
Winning alone is difficult
You (The Creator) have a great idea for a new product or service and, before starting, you owe it to yourself to dig deeper into the ways in which you will proceed to make it successful on the market. The Internet of Things has increasingly demonstrated that interconnectivity and compatibility are key to success.
Proprietary wireless communication for in-house light controls can be great but it is a market limitation factor if it cannot interface with devices and user interfaces from other companies. Same applies to online services where compatibility for online payment, social media interfacing and password control become a success factor for customer acceptance.
For those reasons, it is critical that you (The Creator) evaluate product development, design, marketability and promotion in association with partnerships and ecosystems.
Everybody wins!
A partnership relies on creating a winning proposition for all parties involved into the relationship. The more partners the more winning, the more winning the more reliable (and possibly complex) the development will be. Partners allow you to leapfrog competition, resolve issues you would not be able to do on your own (or would take too much time and resources to do so) and help break down the project into manageable deliverables. It also allows to work in parallel on tough issues and create teamwork to leverage each partners’ core knowledge with the aim of resolving a challenge. Successful partnerships are the ones that bring new technology solutions to the market in ways that lifts each member to a higher level in their respective leadership expertise.
Making it compatible and scalable
There is no screw without a matching screwdriver! Regardless of hardware, software or services, compatibility is critical to ensure quick market success of your creation. That’s the power of ecosystem! Customers are increasingly evaluating your product against competition and want to avoid being taken prisoner by purchasing a device/service that will isolate them from the rest of the world. Ecosystems are a two-edge sword as they rely on all parties to continuously update and improve devices/services to be compatible. This means that The Creator must not only bring a product on the market but also commit to keep it updated as the ecosystem evolves over time.
For many startups, being part of an ecosystem is a market value and it is also a commitment as it requires resource planning for the product’s maintenance (ie. firmware updates) past its production. It implies that there is a product roadmap with versions and functionality expansion to take advantage of the fast pace evolution of technology.
Partnerships and Ecosystems
The same way as a startup should have a financial adviser, partnership and ecosystem management is required for a safe and sound start into the market. Yet, partnership and ecosystem management is not taught at schools so how can we expect for any company to know how to come about this knowledge?

Partnership = Speed up Design and Leap Forward

Both Partnership and Ecosystem management requires strong networking skills, marketing, business accuracy and good knowledge of the product being put on the market.

Ecosystem = Endure the market longer

In addition, ecosystem management requires business development skills to ensure that the product is always reaching the maximum number of customers in the maximum number of markets.
Your checklist
As you prepare to start your company or launch your next product into the market, it is very important to surround yourself with the right partners and joint ecosystems to enable you to be quick and successful. Partnerships require time to create and get started, it is important not to spare on those as they are an intrinsic part of your product development.
Ecosystems are less time sensitive as they probably already exist but some of them might alter your product design (compatibilities) and require resource management past the launch of the product for a better market longevity.
Stiffan Consulting strives to help startups and established companies to create a good knowledge about how to manage partnerships and ecosystems. By assisting you to include the right partners and joint different ecosystems, I help ensuring product market success with you.
Taking your Ideas beyond:

© STIFFAN Consulting January 2017

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