Week 5/6: Strategic Partnerships
By Pano Anthos

XRC Labs panel on Strategic Partnerships led by Pano Anthos.

Session Notes, December 1, 2015:

Three Worst Situations in Partnerships


  • Too early
  • Too late
  • Platform is not a partnership
    • Android/iphone
    • Retailer (ex. Bloomingdales)
    • Pros: marketing, grow outreach
    • Example: Zynga + Facebook
      • Facebook was building an audience via Zynga
    • If you’re very early on a platform, you can make lots of money, but it’s a poor long term plan.
    • If you grow too large on their platform, it’s too difficult to leave.
    • Leveraging

Partnership Types that work

  • Money or marketing
  • Don’t expect silence is good
  • Request a review fairly often to go over deal


  • Sell more of your product
  • Sell more of their product
  • Is someone making more money from the partnership?

Reasons partnerships

  • Utilization of other products

Revenue Partnerships:

  • Platform plays
    • Facebook Platform- gaming
  • Distribution- E-commerce
    • Amazon distribution, farfetch- consigned product
    • Drop ship is becoming more and more prevalent
  • Distribution- B2B
    • Who’s selling your product? Are they exposing your product to something new
  • Calculate your revenue partnership with specific details

PR Value

  • Do both benefit from the PR?

“Whoever is the platform wins”


Partnerships can change over time:

  • Apple vs Google Maps App
  • Google vs Yahoo
    • Yahoo didn’t have a platform
    • Google didn’t have traffice on their website
    • In the end, search was driving everything
    • You can be bigger but not be the platform
  • Apple vs Windows
    • Windows gave Apple some investments

What works?

  • Youth
    • Who is trying to keep the other one alive? Who has the upper hand?
    • Young + Young vs Young + Old
  • Exclusives

[Reprinted with permission from XRC Labs]