Minimum Viable Partnership

How to actually start working together.

Minimum Viable Partnership Model

Technology start-ups talk about Minimum Viable Products. The term refers to a product that has “just those features that allow [it] to be launched, and no more.”

This is also a useful concept when it comes to partnership. When working with a new partner, there’s a damaging tendency to try and figure everything out in advance. To launch planning efforts, seek consensus, and gain clarity on outcomes. To set up process barriers to getting underway.

Extended planning kills momentum, but effective planning builds trust. So what’s the balance? How do you move forward and actually get started?

You need three things:

Big, Shared Ambitions
An exciting, shared vision of what becomes possible if you work together. It doesn’t have to be clearly defined. It just has to provide motivation and establish the emotional tenor.

Raw Material
(i) A rough sense of what’s needed (funding, staff time, distribution channels, etc.);
(ii) what each of you bring to the table; and
(iii) trust in your teams to put it together.

Immediate Next Steps
The three things you need to do when you leave the room. Tangible, practical steps to get started. And a plan to reconnect once they’re achieved.

Everything else is wasted effort.

1 comment

  1. I couldn’t agree more…

    My most recent two startup projects are organized and run almost almost exactly this way ( & and as a result we’ve gotten farther faster, cheaper, and smarter than if we’d done it old-school.

    Congrats on putting it all into a tidy package!

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