Want to Partner with the Big Players? Here’s How.

Larger companies like Google want to work with you. At the 2017 Propelify Innovation Festival, Beth Polish, Vice Chairman at League of Changeand Kristina Hahn, Director of Americas Partner Solutions and Innovation at Google, discussed three key criteria bigger companies are looking for when they choose to partner up with smaller companies.

Define How a Partnership Can Help You

Many smaller companies don’t take the time to define how a specific partnership with a specific company can help them achieve certain goals or solve defined problems. Instead, they seek out the biggest, sexiest, or trendiest companies and then expect a partnership to solve any and every problem their company might have.

A better solution for those seeking out partnerships is to:

  1. Define your goals or problems.
  2. Define how partnering with this specific company will solve your problem or help you achieve your goal.
  3. Make sure that this type partnership is in line with what the company typically offers. For example, don’t seek out social media support from a company that usually focuses their partnership offers on free training classes or mentorships.

Failure is the Option

“The number one criteria for (new partnerships) for us is a company being willing to fail,” Kristina said. “Our philosophy is to create a psychological safety net where we allow people the opportunity to fail and it’s ok. And we want to partner with companies that have the same mindset.”

Many newer or smaller companies try to create a “perfect” facade to attract the attention of bigger companies and their subsequent partnerships. Unfortunately, striving for perfection only creates a stale, stagnant work environment, where employees feel like they can never test out a new idea, because something might go wrong.

“We like to twist the phrase “failure is not an option” to ‘failure to learn is not an option,” Kristina said. “And we want to be focused on the learning. We want partners who do the same.”

When playing it safe wins out, innovation and ingenuity lose.

Trends Big Companies Are Scoping For:

There are three big trends companies like Google are looking for when it comes to collaboration and partnership:

  1. Mobile – “70% of mobile websites take more than 10 seconds to load. That’s a horrific user experience. Think about the transformation that can happen if we change the load time to 2 seconds,” Kristina said. She also cited voice activated apps and searches as particularly exciting new advances for mobile developments.
  2. Video – There’s currently 1 billion hours of content being viewed on YouTube every single day!  New uses of VR and AR will offer exceptionally interesting changes to content and content consumption in the future.
  3. Machine Learning – The future of cloud based technology and applications is especially exciting to Kristina, as well as advancements in analytics.

Watch highlights from Kristina’s talk at the  2017 Propelify Innovation Festival:

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