Business Development Chronicles – The Story of Us (Doesn’t Have to End in Tragedy)

It’s a tale of Big Company and Small Company.

Big Company likes Small Company’s:

  • focus and style
  • entrepreneurial attitude and skills.

Small Company likes Big Company’s:

  • scale of resources
  • scope and number of customers.

Big Company hates thing like:

  • getting embarrassed by Small Company in front of customers
  • getting burned and stuck with Small Company’s software source code
  • worrying about loose cannons in Small Company’s organization
  • working with Small Company’s legal paper.

Small Company hates things like:

  • working with Big Company’s cumbersome processes
  • getting whipped round navigating Big Company’s large organization and jumping through hoops
  • waiting for the whale to speed up
  • failing to get real deals cut
  • getting RFIs from Big Company and worrying whether Big Company is playing around with others
  • answering the RFI question about financial stability of Small Company
  • getting paid six months late by Big Company.

The Story of Us doesn’t have to end in tragedy. “Us” requires hard work, like courtship. It requires an honest assessment of values and one another’s strengths and weaknesses. It requires regular communication. It requires bridge building skills on fluctuating ground, and should be viewed as an opportunity for those up to the challenge.

Endnotes:                                                                                                     

  • Business Development is about new initiatives and incubation
  • The percentage of alliance failures cited often exceeds 60 percent (example Entrepreneur article).
  • The title for this post was inspired by Taylor Swift’s song, The Story of Us from the Speak Now album
  • I wrote this post reflecting upon doing consulting & contract business development activities and representing mega, mid-market, and small companies over the past year.

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