Why successful examples of joint ventures should inspire you
A little while ago I blogged about the risks and benefits involved when embarking on joint ventures. I’m a firm believer that (assuming you have chosen the right partner) in most instances the benefits can definitely outweigh the risks and I’d like to underline that opinion, by focussing here on some of the great collaborations of our time. And not just in business! Joint ventures can work in many different environments and my list below is a light-hearted collection of partnerships from across the spectrum of business, sport, music and television, some of whom have managed to keep a fairly low profile, others whom we have known and loved…
Hollie Tucker and Sophie Cornish
Two great friends with shared values and a love of crafts, these are the award-winning entrepreneurs who co-founded NotOnTheHighStreet in 2006, which has since grown to successfully provide a sales platform for thousands of small, creative businesses.
Bjorn Ulvaeus & Benny Andersson
Or, if Abba’s not your thing, how about George & Ira Gershwin, Lennon & McCartney, Jagger & Richards, Simon & Garfunkel, Elton John & Bernie Taupin, or even Meat Loaf & Jim Steinman. In the world of popular music, the list of successful collaborations is almost endless!
Ben Cohen & Jerry Greenfield
What lover of ice-cream hasn’t enjoyed a tub of Ben & Jerry’s from time to time? They opened their first ice-cream parlour in a renovated gas-station in Vermont in 1978 and successfully ran a worldwide business with a ‘social conscience’ (opposing the use of bovine growth hormone in their products and campaigning for the basic needs of children to be high on the national agenda) before selling it on to Unilever in 2000.
Bob Woodward & Carl Bernstein
The investigative journalists working for the Washington Post who broke the Watergate scandal which brought down President Nixon in 1974.
Julian Metcalfe & Sinclair Beecham
Co-founders of Pret-A-Manger, the inspiration for which was a general lack of decent places on the High Street for office-workers to go and eat in their lunch breaks. They were reputed to have made over £50 million each when they sold the business on.
Morecombe & Wise
Eric and Ernie, one of the greatest comedy double-acts of all time, almost ever-present on our television screens back in the 1970s, as were the equally excellent Two Ronnies (Corbett & Barker).
Brian Acton and Jan Koum
Co-founders of What’s App, which is said to have over 900 million users worldwide. The business was acquired by Facebook in 2014 for 16 billion dollars!
Andy and Jamie Murray
For sure, in tennis Andy Murray is much better known for his success as a singles player, but his doubles pairing with older brother Jamie was crucial in helping Great Britain to win the Davis Cup in 2015.
Carrie Longton & Justine Roberts
Co-founders of Mumsnet, which started out in 2000 as a ‘back bedroom’ business and has since grown to become the UK’s most influential parenting network.
Sir Charles Dunstone and David Ross
Founded Carphone Warehouse in 1989, selling mobile phones out of a flat in London. Nearly 30 years on, both men have become billionaires, the company is on the London Stock Exchange and has nearly 2,500 stores throughout Europe.
Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad
Cricket fans will recognise these two fine chaps as the bowlers who have led the England attack for over a decade and have helped us to win the Ashes four times.
These are just a few examples of how successful joint ventures can be.
From a more personal perspective, I am currently working on two of my own.
The first is the Storytelling for Speakers’ Workshop, in which I am collaborating with public speaking coach Aly Harrold. We held our first one at the Ramada Jarvis Hotel in Pembury in July and will be running a second on October 17th. Early-bird tickets, available here priced at £97, are available until 30th Sept, fill price is £125.
My other joint venture is the Business Diaries, Tunbridge Wells, which I co-host in the Havana Room at the Hotel Du Vin along with my husband, Arthur. We have had two events so far this year, in April and July, with a wide range of storytellers from all walks of business life. The next one takes place on October 11, the speaker line up is currently being confirmed but look out for more information here, and the tickets go on sale on Friday 15th.
So, if you are considering embarking on a joint venture, and you trust and have faith in your potential partner, my advice would definitely be to ‘go for it’ and good luck…