From partner assessment to Letter of Intent to contract. Or from the first date to relationship to marriage. Business partnerships have a lot of similarities to actual relationships.
As inventors, we rely on strong partnerships to develop and bring new products to market. It’s really important for us to make sure we have the right partners and the right agreements around the partnership from the beginning.
For that reason, we’ve come to think of partnerships as a business kind of dating.
Over the years, we’ve signed several Letters of Intent (LOI), partnership-deals and contracts. And this has made it crystal clear just how important is to date properly before committing to a relationship.
First date – Letter of Intent
Just like with dating, partnerships start out with the first date. This is where the two parties walk around each other, assess each other and try to get a feel for each other. What is it each partner wants?
It’s not until we actually like each other, we can start talking about committing to a relationship. And in this analogy, the relationship is a Letter of Intent.
When the LOI is signed, we’re a couple, and there are some clearly defined ruled. This doesn’t make it illegal to break the relationship, and you can’t be legally punished for cheating. It’s just really bad taste.
Marriage – The Contract
If you have been thoroughly dating and really gotten to know your partner during a lasting relationship – the relationship didn’t explode when you moved in together – it might be time for marriage. It might be time for the final contract.
This is a real commitment that might be punishable to break. And that is why the whole wooing before committing is so important.
Sometimes a verbal agreement with a few bullets might be enough for a contract. But no matter if its a verbal or meticulously written contract, you really need to know each other beforehand so your expectations are fully aligned.
Once married, it’s way harder to separate than when you were just in a relationship. If one party really wants a divorce, it’s always possible in some way or another. But usually, it’s cost both parties heartache – and a bunch of time and money.
For that reason, we take the whole dating-part very seriously before committing to a relationship and marriage. The more time we spend and the harder we work before committing, the easier it is to form the contract and actually get a happy partnership. So make sure to get some early spring dates up and running before settling.