A business partnership has the potential to become the best decision an owner ever made or the worst. The ideal business partner contributes ideas, capital and business acumen.
The wrong partner results in conflict and even legal proceedings. A few partnerships worked spectacularly while many others became mired in conflict.
Some of the best partnerships
According to NBC News, the parties involved in a successful business partnership do not always have to agree on everything or even like one another. Bill Gates and Paul Allen, the co-architects of the tech giant Microsoft, had their share of disagreements and arguments. They even had disparate skills and personalities. Gates exhibited traits such as being ultra-picky, tireless and a cut-throat negotiator, while Allen described himself as a team innovator and an idea man.
Gates and Allen met in preparatory school and created Microsoft from the ground up, earning billions in the process. These other business duos also made large sums of money and transformed the business world:
- Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream
- Warren Buffet and Charlie Munger of Berkshire Hathaway
- Jerry Yang and David Filo of Yahoo!
- Sergey Brin and Larry Page of Google
One of the trickiest business partnerships
For every successful partnership, a number of failed ones exist that did not make money or ended in bitter legal battles. Each partnership has its unique challenges, but Forbes describes equal partnerships in a family business a disaster waiting to happen. The cause of a conflict can arise quickly and unexpectedly and comes in many forms. These business disruptions include a buyout opportunity, a bad mistake made by one partner, a business downturn or a competing vision. Even in a family business, the need exists for a contract that outlines a conflict resolution process.