To deeply understand the importance of joint venturing and how it can dramatically change your life, bank balance and relationships, I will use the story of a man I recently read about on wikepedia.org.
Taken from the a short article on Bill Gates:
” Gates, (born October 28, 1955) is an American entrepreneur, philanthropist, and chairman of Microsoft, the software company he founded with Paul Allen (joint venture). The annual Forbes magazine’s list of The World’s Billionaires has ranked Gates as the richest person in the world since 1995, with recent estimates putting his net worth near $56 billion.”
How did he come to be this wealthy?
“At thirteen he enrolled in the Lakeside School, Seattle’s most exclusive preparatory school. Gates took an interest in programming computers and was later banned along with his fellow students for exploiting bugs in the operating system to obtain free computer time (creative thinking by collective thinkers). At the end of the ban, the Lakeside students (Gates, Paul Allen, Ric Weiland, and Kent Evans) offered to find bugs in CCC’s software in exchange for free computer time (joint venture). The arrangement with CCC continued until 1970, when it went out of business. This was to be the beginning of Gates joint venture engagements.
The following year Information Sciences Inc. hired the Lakeside students to write a payroll program in COBOL, providing them not only computer time but royalties as well. At age 14, Gates also formed a joint venture with Allen, called Traf-O-Data, to make traffic counters based on the Intel 8008 processor. That first year he made $20,000; however, when his age was discovered, business slowed down.
In 1973, Bill Gates entered Harvard University as a freshman, where he lived down the hall from Steve Ballmer, now Microsoft’s chief executive officer. While at Harvard, Gates developed a version of the programming language BASIC for the first microcomputer – the MITS Altair.
In his junior year, Bill Gates left Harvard to devote his energies to Microsoft, a company he had begun in 1975 with his childhood friend Paul Allen – The birth of a joint venture that changed the way the world saw computers. Guided by a belief that the computer would be a valuable tool on every office desktop and in every home, they began developing software for personal computers. Gates’ foresight and his vision for personal computing have been central to the success of Microsoft and the software industry.
In 1980 IBM approached Microsoft to make the BASIC interpreter for its upcoming personal computer, the IBM PC (joint venture). When IBM’s representatives mentioned that they needed an operating system, Gates referred them to Digital Research (DRI), makers of the widely used CP/M operating system (another joint venture). IBM’s discussions with Digital Research went poorly, and they did not reach a licensing agreement (failure to understand the power of joint venturing). A few weeks later Gates proposed using 86-DOS (QDOS), an operating system similar to CP/M and which Tim Paterson of Seattle Computer Products had made for hardware similar to the PC. Microsoft made a deal with SCP to become the exclusive licensing agent (joint venture), and later the full owner, of 86-DOS, but did not mention that IBM was a potential customer. Gates never understood why DRI had walked away from the deal, and in later years he claimed that DRI founder Gary Kildall capriciously “went flying” during an IBM appointment.
After adapting the operating system for the PC, Microsoft delivered it to IBM as PC-DOS in exchange for a one-time fee, without transferring to IBM the ownership of the source code of the PC’s operating system. There never has been an authoritative explanation why IBM, which in effect paid for its development, did not insist on gaining the ownership of the source code Microsoft was quick to license DOS to other manufacturers, calling it MS-DOS (for Microsoft Disk Operating System).
By marketing MS-DOS aggressively to manufacturers of IBM-PC clones and by virtue of its undivided ownership of the operating system’s source code, Microsoft went from a small player to one of the major software vendors in the home computer industry. Microsoft continued develop operating systems as well as software applications.In the early 1980s Microsoft introduced its own version of the graphical user interface (GUI), based on ideas pioneered by the Xerox corporation, and further developed by Apple.
By the early 1990s, Windows had pushed other DOS-based GUIs like GEM and GEOS out of the market. The release of Windows 3.0 in 1990 was a tremendous success, selling around 10 million copies in the first two years and cementing Microsoft’s dominance in operating systems sales.By continuing to ensure, by various means, that most computers came with Microsoft software pre-installed, the Microsoft corporation eventually became the largest software company in the world, earning Gates enough money that Forbes Magazine named him the wealthiest person in the world for several years.”
– Taken from an article written on Bill Gates on wikepedia
What am I trying to say?
Joint venturing with the right partners can make you a highly successful person.
Because business involves people and it’s all about people. Effectively working well with people and benefiting people leads to a profitable business. This is what makes a business extremely profitable and Gates did not only know this, he practiced it. How are you joint venturing with your friends, family members and colleagues. What are you bringing to table and most importantly never set a bird trap in full view of the birds. When you do, you set yourself up for your own ruin.
Joint venturing has made many men and women wealthy people today. Companies become giants when they joint venture together. We call them mergers. As from today, make a conscious decision to look for the prospective opportunities in working together with others who can potentially benefit you; however always remember that unless you have something to bring to the table, a joint venture will never be created.
Here are some quick tips to a successful and profitable joint venture:
Make sure you have a purpose and service to offer.
Make sure you have a clear vision and goal about what you want to achieve.
Consider the features and benefits of your product/service.
Consider how your service/product can benefit potential partners that serve your existing and future customers.
Establish the financial benefits your partners will gain from joint venturing with you. Make sure the financial gains surpass you paying for their contributions.
Always have a Win – Win mindset. Joint venturing is not a selfish act, it is a mutually beneficial agreement between 2 or more parties.
Let integrity be your legs and let loyalty be your hands. With these, you will walk upright and deal securely.
Never lay all your cards on the table. If you do, there will be nothing to joint venture with.
I wish you every success.- Keji Giwa