👈🏻 consider thinking backwards
👉🏻 before thinking forward
👑 Think backwards from your customer
Most compelling partnerships are when there are customers that are getting true value out of these technologies working together.
Or customers benefit from multiple products installed or purchased together with as few touch points as possible.
You cannot just fabricate a customer story to support a partnership hypothesis. It falls apart rather quickly
🚀 Then think forward how to innovate
Today if you look at the experience of your potential customer, their end-to-end customer journey is cutting across various products and industries.
Thinking forward, you can uncover their unmet needs and create new solutions with partners that no individual company could achieve alone.
BCG called it “the ability to create a mental model of something that doesn’t exist yet.”
🔮 Finally, the magic is not bringing that together bits and pieces, but really about building your holistically integrated offering.
Interesting example of partnership thinking is Microsoft.
💭 From one of our fireside chats in Partner Insight (link in comments)
I'm not sure if you still remember what Satya Nadella said in his first speech, as a new CEO. Remember that no one wanted to be the CEO of Microsoft on that very day, because it was not a company we know today.
He said “It is about cloud first, mobile first”. And everyone said, “yeah, that's true”, but the interesting thing was, he didn't mention Windows. So he omitted it, basically the flagship product of the company.
At the time of Satya Nadella Microsoft became much more empathy driven, more partner friendly, not only with partners, but with direct competitors. It entered into more co-opetition constellations, being partners with competitors. At the same point in time, it also exited from an ecosystem, that's also important to remember. So Microsoft phones were at the edge of the #ecosystem. It was evident that iOS and Android became the winner in that game, and that it was very difficult for Microsoft to catch up.
At the same time Microsoft entered into several open ecosystems with acquisition of LinkedIn, GitHub, and growth of Microsoft Azure Cloud Services.
Finally the guiding principle of the company was to move away from upfront licenses to a subscription-based model, recurring revenue streams. And they’ve done it very successfully.