The Simpsons and why we don’t partner with anybody (part II)

Recently I wrote a post about why we don’t partner with anybody. The point was that it’s hard to ever really know your potential partner’s true agenda, so be wary of partnerships.

Likewise, its not uncommon to be approached by a potential partner who sings your praises, makes you feel great about your business, and promises the moon. They tell you how they can sell your product to all of their customers, easily, because their customer have been asking for something just like what you provide! It’s a perfect fit. A match made in heaven!

You buy into their hype, and you think they must know something you don’t, because even though you believe it will be harder than they think, their promises are so bold and they are so confident in their ability to fulfill them, you start to believe them.

It reminds me of this great scene from The Simpsons, when Lyle Langley convinces the people of Springfield that they need a monorail…

Marge is the only voice of reason in the crowd, and she is ignored, just as you might not heed the doubts of the second guessers in your business who have doubts about your potential partners. I’ve done that. And I’ve learned my lesson.

Of course, Marge was right to be skeptical, and the monorail became a disaster. Just as many partnerships do (more fail than work – trust me).

Trust your gut. Trust your teammates. And be careful of trusting a potential partner who has a lot of upside and a little downside if the partnership fails.

I’m not saying all partnerships are bad. But I am saying from experience that they rarely work out like you believe they will, and you may be better off focusing your time, energy, and money elsewhere for a better return.