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Steve Blank Jon Feiber Jon Burke /. The Lean LaunchPad Lecture 7: Partners. value proposition. key activities. customer relationships. key partners. customer segments. cost structure. revenue streams. key resources. channels. 1. images by JAM.

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steve blank jon feiber jon burke http i245 stanford edu
Steve Blank

Jon Feiber

Jon Burke

The Lean LaunchPadLecture 7: Partners


value proposition

key activities

customer relationships

key partners

customer segments

cost structure

revenue streams





images by JAM



which partners and suppliers leverage your model?

who do you need to rely on?

what defines a partner
What defines a “Partner?”

Shared economics

Mutual success / failure


Common customer

But remember - you’re a startup

why have partners
Why have partners?
  • Faster time to market
  • Broader product offering
  • More efficient use of capital
  • Unique customer knowledge or expertise
  • Access to new markets
partners physical channels
Partners – Physical Channels
  • Strategic alliances
  • Joint new business development efforts
  • “Coopetition,” (cooperation between competitors)
  • Key supplier relationships
partners strategic alliances
Partners – Strategic Alliances
  • Reduce the list of things your startup needs to build or provide to offer a complete product or service.
  • Use partners to build the “whole product”
    • using 3rd parties to provide a customer with a complete solution
    • complement your core product with other products or services
    • Training, installation, service, etc
partners joint busines s development
Partners –Joint Business Development
  • Joint promotion of complementary products
    • Share advertising, marketing, and sales programs
  • One may be the dominant player
  • Intel offered advertising fees to PC Vendors
partners coopetition
Partners –Coopetition
  • Joint promotion of competitive products
  • Competitors might join together in programs to grow awareness of their industry
    • Tradeshows
    • Industry Associations
partners key suppliers
Partners –Key Suppliers
  • Outsource suppliers
    • Backoffice, supply chain, manufacturing
  • Direct suppliers
    • Components, raw materials, etc.

Startup mistake

  • Strategic alliances and joint partnerships
  • Not needed for Earlyvangelists
  • Are needed for Mainstream customers
    • Usually fail
traffic partners virtual channels
Traffic Partners – Virtual Channels
  • Long-term agreements with other companies
    • deliver long-term, predictable levels of customers
    • “Cross referral” or swapping basis
    • Paid on a per-referral basis
    • Partners drive traffic using text-links, with onsite promotions, and with ads on the referring site
    • Partners sometimes exchange email lists
partnership disaster boeing
Partnership Disaster: Boeing


Looked great on paper.

Worst business decision of the 21st century

managing partners risks
Managing partners - risks

Impendence mismatch

Longest of partners schedule becomes your longest item

No clear ownership of customer

Products lack vision – shared product design

Different underlying objectives in relationship

Churn in partners strategy or personnel

IP issues

Difficult to unwind or end

startup partner strategies
Startup Partner Strategies
  • Don’t confuse partners for Earlyvangelists vs. mainstream
  • Don’t confuse big company partnering with startup strategy
  • Find the one that gives you an unfair advantage
      • Air Supply strategy
  • Recognize you don’t matter to a large partner
team deliverable for next week
What partners will you need?

Why do you need them  

Why will they partner with you?

What’s the cost of the partnership?

Talk to actual  partners

Summarized in a 5 Minute PowerPoint Presentation

Team Deliverable for Next Week