In the course of my work, I’m often asked “So, who do you know?” The question is intended to get at the number and rank of people I know inside a given company. It assumes that building partnerships and closing deals is first and foremoest a matter of having the right connections.
I had the pleasure of delivering a talk, titled Better Beat the Odds: Make games you love and stop eating KD every night, to a great group of independent game designers and developers at this year’s Gamercamp. The subject of my talk was building a business on a passion for indie games.
No deal is the only deal you can do. No potential partner is the only one that fits. When negotiating a partnership, patience is key, but too much can be a bad thing. It wastes time and resources. Each deal you keep chasing represents an opportunity cost measured by those you aren’t. If the other party doesn’t share your sense of eagerness, if not urgency, it’s time to move on.
It’s increasingly difficult to produce examples of software or services companies that will escape a shift to — or at least a major embrace of — cloud computing. With this shift comes new business models, new channels, new products and services; in short, change and lots of it.
Unless approached with the right attitude and expectations, partner programs ultimately die a slow, agonizing death. The software industry is filled with companies whose partner programs sit dormant and forgotten, representing wasted capital and significant opportunity costs.