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From 0 to 2 Million DAU’s: The Guide To Growing Your Startup via Partnerships (brianbalfour.com)
9 points by aaronwhite on Sept 4, 2013 | hide | past | web | favorite | 6 comments

I tend to think that partnerships are more successful at fulfilling demand than creating it. Big Co's often have a hard time seeing the need at first. Just my 2 cents. http://robkornblum.wordpress.com/2012/10/19/early-stage-busi...

Theoretically the best way to scaling a startup, but unless you are YC funded and Techcrunch AND NYT and other similar hyped, dont expect any success with this. You have to bring a critical mass to the table, 0 -2million improbable but more likely can we say 30k-5,000,000 is very possible

Do you have any other examples of sizing up a potential partner before reaching out to them? If certain metrics are confidential, it seems like it's not as straightforward.

There are all the obvious public metrics from things like Compete, Alexa, app rankings, twitter following, facebook following, etc etc.

But beyond that I would dig deep into using the product. If I was going to assess the engagement (DAU/MAU) of a social network I would look at how people are commenting. Or maybe send 20 friend requests/messages to random people and see how fast on average they respond. You can get a feel for certain things just by using the product.

Otherwise I would just reach out and start a discussion. Some partners will be shy to give up metrics, but you usually can pull it out of them over time.

Hey Brian, of the partnerships you mentioned, or any others, what is a good example of a deal that killed it for both parties? Any 1+1 = 10 kind of deals come to mind?

Good question. Not to be a pessimist, but in most scenarios I have found partnerships to under perform initial expectations. Part of that can be mitigated with the things I outline in the post. But I think more than anything finding that one key predictor of success is important. For Viximo it was sites that had high DAU/MAU ratio. We'd rather take a company with 1/10 of the total audience, a crappier experience, and worse business terms but a high DAU/MAU ratio. It made a huge difference.

But that key predictor is different for every business. Finding it can be tough. But once you find it you increase partnership success chances by a lot.

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