My very first collaboration on a project was one where I got burnt.
I got burnt because the deal was vague and ambiguous, nothing was in writing and it was a handshake deal between buddies.
Ya, you get it. Not a good idea. Friendship can turn to henshite pretty darn quickly when there is money on the table.
Those first failed attempts have become valuable in workshops as I rely on my own lived experiences to fuel those.
I love partnering on projects and I think that the time is ripe right now for collaborations because we're all having to rethink how we do business. Don't shy away from a good cross-marketing opportunity because of the risk. Mitigate against it.
3 Ways to Prepare
Choose your partner wisely. Find someone whose values mirror your own and for me that would mean a focus on ethics and fairness. In that first deal, I was naive and was getting taken advantage of from the get go. With the right partner, this will be less of a concern.
Talk about compensation early on. The right partner will not mind doing this with you. In that first partnership I had no idea that my contribution deserved the lions share of the compensation. But my partner understood this. The right partner would have made a world of difference.
Get it in writing. Adopt this standard for all collaborations regardless of how good a friend the person is - that way you can cover yourself in the event that it all goes south. Believe me when I tell you that the deals that go south are the ones that you least expect to fail. My first deal ended up in small claims court by the way - having it in writing would have made it a little less challenging to settle.
This is the time for creativity. A joint venture may be the right way for you to go. If you and your partner want someone to help you hammer out the terms of the agreement, I can help with that.
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