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10 Partnership Commandments by Lauren Berson-Sugarman
A step-by-step booklet for you
“The most important thing is that you develop your own principles and you ideally write them down, especially if you are working with other people.” - Ray Dalio, investor
There is no textbook - no manual - for how to build partnerships.
That is why it is such a treasure to find well-written “principles” or “commandments” developed on the frontlines by dealmakers. Today I’m re-publishing a crisp and concise collection of 10 partnership commandments that Lauren Berson-Sugarman posted to Twitter. When I first came across her list a couple years ago it helped solidify my decision to collect insights like hers into a partnerships newsletter.
Lauren knows partnerships. Before becoming a founder, she closed deals at companies big, small and in between - Citigroup, Meebo, Google, a16z, WW (formerly Weight Watchers).
Today, Lauren is the CEO of Conceive - a start-up on a mission to help people get pregnant and support them through the bumps along the way. I recommend Lauren’s very informative weekly summary of fertility and reproductive healthcare updates in this post-Roe era.
I hope reading Lauren’s 10 partnership commandments prompts you to reflect on your own principles for building partnerships. If you haven’t written yours down, you should. And once you do, send them my way if you’re open to sharing with TfT readers.
#1 and #2 resonate most with me. Less is (generally) more when it comes to partnerships. Or, as Lauren says, be selective. She also emphasizes exploring alternatives to partnering. It’s critical to align internally at the outset on whether to build, buy or partner. After all, you will need your cross-functional partners fully bought-in for a successful partnership.
I also appreciate Lauren’s highlighting shared values between organizations. Trust is essential in building partnerships. And shared values are foundational to trust.