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Exploring When To Partner

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Most tech organizations build most or all of the technology needed for their products. But should you? Always consider buying or partnering before embarking on a new development project—whether a big feature or a new product.

There are merits to building internally. You get exactly what you need and you don’t have to worry about the third-party changing their business model or pricing. But you also use your internal resources on this instead of something else.

First, of course, you must to understand the customer need. Then work with your product team to discuss possible solutions. As you envision implementations, get the team to explore existing third-party options. For example, with so many good reporting tools available, it’s silly to create your own report engine. If partnering seems a reasonable approach, evaluate the long-term cost of using a third-party tool over developing your own.

Use the Under10 ASPIRE tool to guide your decision on building internally or looking for partners or purchases instead. If you are strong on Authority but not Expertise, finding a partner to fill the gap makes sense. If you and a potential partner are both strong in the same characteristics, there’s probably not much merit to the partnership.

You can also use this approach with sales or marketing partnerships. A firm with strong Authority (brand or industry reputation) can expand their product offerings by partnering with firms that have strong Expertise.

Podcasts, webinars, and other promotional events are excellent marketing partnership opportunities. Your Authority increases their Authority and vice versa. A podcast or industry magazine has a continuous need for new content which you can provide. Participating in the event extends your awareness with the host’s followers and extends the partner’s awareness with your followers.

Forgive the cliché but the ideal scenario is a win-win-win. You win; your partner wins. And most of all, your mutual clients win.

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