How Nurturing Partnerships is Like Managing a Bank Account: Fireside Chat With Oren Chervinsky
We sat down with Oren Chervinsky of One One Three Growth Strategies to delve deep into the world of partnerships. In this latest Fireside Chat, Oren reveals that nurturing partnerships is similar to managing a bank account. Have your doubts?
Read on to discover why this analogy is spot on. Plus, gain actionable insights, backed by Oren’s firsthand experiences, that can elevate your partnerships and help you scale faster.
Meet Oren Chervinsky and One One Three
Oren Chervinsky is not just an expert in partnerships; he’s a maestro in orchestrating collaborations that lead to mutual growth. At the helm of One One Three, Oren has spent years fostering relationships between startups and multinational corporations (MNCs), ensuring that both parties thrive together.
One One Three stands as a testament to the power of strategic alliances. With a focus on bridging the gap between startups and large corporations, they’ve carved a niche in creating win-win scenarios that drive innovation and growth.
Key Takeaways from the Our Fireside Chat With Oren
Deposits and Withdrawals in Relationships:
In the intricate world of business partnerships, the dynamics often mirror those of personal relationships. Just as with bank accounts, relationships require a balance of give and take. Oren’s analogy of treating every relationship like a bank account is a testament to the delicate equilibrium that needs to be maintained. He emphasized, “Treat every relationship in your life like a bank account. You make deposits, and you make withdrawals.”
This concept of balance is not just a business strategy but is deeply rooted in human psychology. Reciprocity, the act of returning a favor or balancing out a deed, is ingrained in human nature. Dr. Robert Cialdini, in his groundbreaking work on influence, highlighted the rule of reciprocity as one of the key principles that guide human behavior. This rule suggests that when someone does something for us, we naturally want to return the favor. In essence, when one party makes a deposit, the other feels an inherent need to make a corresponding deposit or withdrawal.
In the context of partnerships, this means that for every effort, resource, or concession one party offers, there’s an expectation – often unspoken – of a return. This doesn’t necessarily mean a tit-for-tat exchange but rather a balanced relationship where both parties feel valued and acknowledged.
Understanding Your Balance:
However, it’s essential to recognize that not all deposits and withdrawals are of equal value. Just as a significant financial deposit can earn more interest in a bank, significant gestures or contributions in a partnership can have a more profound impact on the relationship’s trajectory.
In the world of business, it’s not just about the quantity but the quality of your contributions. A well-timed gesture, a thoughtful concession, or even an insightful piece of advice can sometimes be worth more than a significant financial investment. It’s akin to the difference between a bulk deposit and a high-yield investment in banking.
Oren’s advice to “be careful not to stay in overdraft very long” is a poignant reminder that relationships, like bank accounts, can go into the red. Overdraft in this context refers to a situation where one party feels they are giving more than they are receiving. This imbalance, if sustained, can lead to feelings of resentment, mistrust, and eventually, the dissolution of the partnership.
Moreover, it’s not just about avoiding the negatives but actively seeking the positives. By consistently making valuable deposits, you not only maintain a healthy balance but also earn ‘interest’ in the form of trust, goodwill, and a strengthened bond.
In practice, this means regularly checking in with your partners, understanding their needs and concerns, and proactively looking for ways to add value. It’s about fostering a culture of mutual respect and appreciation where both parties feel heard, understood, and valued.
Investing in IP Protection:
In the world of finance, safeguarding your savings is a no-brainer. You wouldn’t leave your hard-earned money exposed to theft or fraud. Similarly, in the business realm — especially for startups and innovators — protecting your intellectual property (IP) is akin to securing your savings in a fortified bank.
Oren’s perspective on IP protection is both pragmatic and cautionary. He states, “if you can’t think of how to protect your idea or your business, then you need to assume that other people are going to come and do it very, very quickly after.” This is a stark reminder of the competitive nature of the business world. Just as there are always threats to your financial assets, there are always competitors ready to capitalize on unprotected ideas.
But why is IP protection so crucial?
- Asset Value: Just as a bank account or investment portfolio adds to an individual’s net worth, IP contributes to a company’s valuation. Patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets can significantly increase a company’s market value.
- Competitive Edge: Protecting your IP ensures that competitors cannot replicate your unique offerings. This exclusivity can lead to a dominant position in the market, much like having a high-interest rate gives you an edge in savings growth.
- Revenue Streams: IP can be a source of revenue through licensing, franchising, or selling. It’s akin to earning interest or dividends on your savings.
- Building Trust: Just as a well-protected bank account gives you peace of mind, having protected IP can instill confidence in investors, partners, and customers. They recognize that you value and safeguard your innovations.
- Legal Leverage: If ever faced with infringement issues, having your IP protected provides you with legal recourse. It’s your insurance against potential business threats.
Self-Funding as the First Deposit:
Venturing into the business landscape is akin to opening a new account for a financial venture. The initial deposit sets the foundation for future transactions and growth. Oren Chervinsky underscores the significance of this initial capital infusion, but with a twist specific to the startup ecosystem. He advises, “Your first round of funding is friends and family,” highlighting the critical role of personal investment as a testament to your belief in your venture.
Here’s why self-funding is similar to making your first, most crucial deposit:
It proves your full commitment to the project: Just as a substantial first deposit can demonstrate your commitment to a financial goal, investing your own resources shows potential investors that you are serious about your business. It’s a signal that you have skin in the game.
It gives you better leverage in future negotiations: When you start with personal capital, you’re in a better position to negotiate with future investors. It’s like having a savings buffer that allows you to take calculated risks with your investments.
It validates your business idea early on: If friends and family are willing to contribute, it serves as an early validation of your idea, similar to a bank validating your financial standing by approving your account.
It’s more cost-effective: Money from friends and family often comes with lower or no interest rates, akin to a high-yield savings account that maximizes your initial deposit.
It offers greater flexibility and control over business decisions: Self-funding offers more flexibility and control over your business decisions, much like a savings account gives you more liquidity and autonomy over your funds.
It strengthens your relationships: The process of raising funds from friends and family can strengthen personal relationships and build a community around your business, similar to how a healthy bank account can provide a sense of security and community through shared financial goals.
Clear Value Proposition as Interest:
When it comes to finance and banking, interest is the reward for saving money. The concept for that is simple — the more you save, the more you earn. This exact same principle of accruing additional value over time is directly applicable to the realm of partnerships and business ventures. A clear value proposition functions much like interest in a savings account — it continuously adds value to the initial investment in the relationship.
Oren Chervinsky explains the importance of this clarity when stating that, “Your value proposition has to be simple and clear.” Of course, simplicity and clarity are not just about making the proposition understandable but also about making it compelling. You want to articulate the unique benefits and the distinct advantages that the partnership can leverage. When partners understand the value they will receive, they are more likely to engage deeply and invest in the relationship.
A value proposition that resonates well with a prospective partner sets the tone for the entire relationship. It’s the foundation upon which trust is built and expectations are set. It’s not just a statement of what one brings to the table but a promise of the potential growth and success that can be achieved together.
When crafting this proposition, it’s essential to focus on the specific needs and goals of your partner. What do they value most? And how does your offering align with their strategic objectives? Answering these questions can help tailor a value proposition that not only speaks to the partner’s needs but also outlines the tangible benefits they stand to gain.
Another important thing to keep in mind…
A compelling value proposition isn’t static but evolves continually as the partnership continues to grow. It requires regular reassessment and refinement to ensure that it remains relevant and continues to provide a competitive edge. Just as interest compounds over time, the benefits of a well-articulated value proposition can multiply, enhancing the partnership’s worth and solidifying the foundation for long-term success.
Diversifying Your Portfolio:
Cultivating a range of partnerships across various sectors of business ensures that — like a garden with many types of seeds — there will always be growth, even if some ventures don’t bloom. Diversification is key to resilience and growth. Oren Chervinsky, with his extensive experience in nurturing startups and guiding them toward successful partnerships, understands this principle deeply. He advocates for a broad approach to partnership, one that spans across different sectors and industries.
To diversify your portfolio isn’t just a financial adage but a robust strategy in building business relationships. Oren’s track record includes facilitating connections that have led to success stories in various domains, from projects with a strong humanitarian angle to those at the cutting edge of technology. By not limiting their focus, these startups have been able to tap into multiple lucrative opportunities, increasing their chances of success and stability in the volatile world of business.
In his conversation with Kris, Oren recounted how one particular venture, aimed at aiding the visually impaired, not only found success by aligning with tech giants but also added a layer of social value to the companies involved. “We opened doors to Google and Samsung,” Oren explained, detailing how a single partnership could catalyze industry-wide innovation and inclusivity. This kind of diversification in partnerships ensures that a startup is not solely dependent on one sector or one type of technology, thus safeguarding against market fluctuations and changes in consumer behavior.
Diversifying partnerships can lead to a cross-pollination of ideas, fostering innovation and creativity. It can open doors to new markets, new customer bases, and even unexpected avenues for growth. Oren’s advice to startups is clear: explore, engage, and establish a wide array of partnerships to build a resilient and dynamic business model. Just as a diversified investment portfolio can help you spread risk and increase the potential for reward, a diversified partnership portfolio enables startups to navigate the complexities of the business world and emerge stronger.
Trust as the Foundation:
Trust is the bedrock upon which all successful partnerships are built. It’s the currency that holds more value than any dollar amount and the foundation that can sustain relationships through the toughest of times. Oren Chervinsky’s assertion that “Handshakes matter, they matter, and they should matter.” encapsulates the essence of trust in the business world. This simple gesture represents a mutual agreement, an unspoken understanding that each party will uphold their end of the bargain.
When it comes to business relationships, trust is what enables two parties to share ideas, resources, and reputations with the confidence that they will be respected and protected. Confidence in each other is what allows partners to take calculated risks together, knowing that they are supported.
Oren understands that in the absence of reliability, even the most promising of deals can falter. Trust is what transforms a conversation into a commitment and a handshake into a partnership. It’s the assurance that the other party will deliver on promises, act with integrity, and work towards mutual success. Without trust, partnerships are merely transactions devoid of the depth and potential that can be achieved when two entities truly believe in and rely on each other.
Building trust takes time and requires consistency, honesty, and transparency. It’s about showing up, following through, and being accountable. Oren’s emphasis on the significance of a handshake goes beyond the physical act—it’s about what it represents: a pledge that each party is entering the partnership with the best intentions and will strive to maintain the trust that has been placed in them.