At any stage of a company’s life cycle, it’s an organization’s customers and loyal supporters that fuel its balance sheet. From viewers to fans, social gamers, diehards, and everything in between, these different user groups define success for companies across the globe. Without the support of passionate and strong audiences, movies, TV programs, and online content portals wouldn’t exist week-to-week.
Regardless of the partnerships that a startup strikes in its early days, such deals must generate traction. If such relationships don’t foster a growing user base, the press releases touting their existence won’t be worth the paper their printed on. People often ask me about competitors and other mobile applications who secure partnerships with major broadcasters and television networks. They ask if I’m disappointed, or if such news is a huge blow to my team. My answer is always a resounding, “NO.”
Strategic relationships are critical to getting a startup on the right track, but partnerships without user growth is like cereal without milk. Edible? Yes. Satisfying? No. Something that others will want to share? Definitely not.
Partnerships can lead to operational and creative synergies. They can open up new markets. Strategic relationships have the potential to transform organizations. Even if a competitor strikes a partnership with a sought after media entity, that doesn’t mean the game is lost. It may give the company a slight leg up. It’s important to remember, however, that media partners will always cross the fence if your startup proves user growth and your competitor does not.