The Flywheel of Great Partnerships

We often describe partners as a form of “leverage”, as in I personally am able to accomplish more through collaboration with my business partners than I could achieve myself.  I mean partners in the small partnership (like a VC firm) or small team context.  It’s basically the old assertion of the whole being greater than the sum of the parts.  And it’s true that one’s partners can amplify the force of any individual.

But instead of the lever, I think a more apt analogy for great partnerships is as a flywheel.  The best partnerships are like a flywheel in that they conserve momentum of the whole entity, regardless of the energy output of any individual partner at that moment in time.  If we were all perpetual motion beings, perhaps sustaining momentum through one’s partners wouldn’t be so critical.  But we’re not.

Let the flywheel keep spinning…

Lee Hower

I’m an investor, entrepreneur, and helper of technology startups. I’m currently a General Partner of NextView Ventures, an investment firm focused on seed stage internet-enabled businesses.  I co-founded NextView in 2010 with my partner Rob Go and David Beisel. I started in the VC business as a Principal at Point Judith Capital, an early-stage firm.  I joined PJC in 2005 and served as a Principal at the firm through early 2010.  During this time I co-led investments in FanIQ, Sittercity, and Multiply and sourced investments in Music Nation and NABsys. Prior to becoming a VC, I was a startup guy myself.  I was part of the founding team of LinkedIn, and served as Director of Corporate Development from the company’s inception through our early growth phases. Before that I was an early employee at PayPal, and worked in product management and corporate development roles through the company’s IPO in 2002 and subsequent sale to eBay later that year. I went to college at UPenn, and received degrees from both the School of Engineering and Wharton School of Business.

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