Powerlinx Blog

Making Business Partnerships Work Using “The Remix Strategy”

Making Business Partnerships Work Using
When you look to external partners for acquiring resources and capabilities, your organization needs a practical roadmap to answer some critical questions: What kind of business partnerships and combinations do we need? How will we manage them over time? What profits will we earn, and will they justify our investment?

Ben Gomes-Casseres, international business scholar and Powerlinx adviser, addresses these questions and more in The Remix Strategy: The Three Laws of Business Combination. This excerpt, originally posted by the Harvard Business Review offers a simple, but powerful, framework to help you make those decisions.


A Partnership is Not a Purchase Order


By Ben Gomes-Casseres, Advisor to Powerlinx, and author of Remix Strategy: The Three Laws of Business Combinations

Scott McNealy, ex-CEO of Sun Microsystems, tweeted this message some time ago:

“Most over used phrase in business is ‘strategic partner.’ Favorite partnership for me is a purchase order. Defined charter, beginning, end.”

Unfortunately, this view is precisely why many external partnerships fail. True collaboration is much more than a purchase order. Setting up an external partnership as if it were a PO, at best, leaves value on the table. At worst, it leads to conflict and value destruction.