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Hire for your core. Partner for the rest.

There is a major trend shaping up that is worldwide, already identified by hundreds of thousands of startup and small business CEOs.  By carefully recognizing and focusing upon the very core of the business, these CEOs are allocating their scarce cash resources to hire the best talent they can find to support that core business, and then reaching out to partners, independent contractors, and other small businesses to provide all other functions.

There is much to reinforce in such behavior.  By definition, your core is your intellectual property foundation, the thing that makes your business most valuable to customers, investors and perhaps someday to potential buyers.  Every business has an intellectual foundation where the CEO’s knowledge and vision create a barrier to entry that deflects some or much of the potential competition.

In the patent world, we protect this intellectual core with what we call a “patent thicket,” aptly describing the attempt to surround the core patent with other patents that defend the core and further prevent competitors from attacking the central component of the business.

[Email readers, continue here…]   Sometimes we protect our core with effective branding and marketing.  Or we do so with brilliant research and development, highly trained sales forces, large advertising campaigns, or secret processes.

Using this focused approach to hiring, companies can stretch their limited capital further, assure better protection of corporate secrets, and make use of the core skills of partners that are attractive and beyond the reach of a small company’s abilities.  In this new environment of cheap communication worldwide, it is only reasonable to leverage these advantages through partnering with those whose core complements yours.

  • The Partnering article provides good insights on how to scale a business and prudently manage risk.

    Further, with decreasing business cycles and the need to take periodic, strategic bold moves to increase relevance in the market, effective Partnering enables a company to expedite product development and fast track sales.

    And like a marriage, if you want happiness / results, it’s important to Partner with those having similar goals and values as well as complementing capabilities.

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