Partnerships can be a great way to leverage a domain name with another company’s labor, intellectual property, financial accumen, and experience. When successful, they can lead to substantial revenue growth and a well developed website. There are a number of partnerships within the domain industry including:
Monster Venture Partners & Castello Brothers – Traveler.com,
WashingtonVC & Internet Real Estate – Phone.com & Software.com
There are a few things I can think of when it comes to partnerships that people should consider.
Set benchmarks – If you agree to a partnership and you give up ownership in exchange for a website that doesn’t drive additional revenue, there really is no purpose for the partnership. Make sure you set benchmarks for revenue, and reward more based on success.
Create contingency plans – If for some reason, one partner will not be able to fulfill obligations, there should be something in writing that determines what will happen. Many things come up, and you want to protect your rights.
Set timelines – If your project suddenly becomes backburnered, you should have recourse to ensure that you aren’t obligated to continue a partnership when it’s clear that your site isn’t a top priority and won’t be ready when expected.
Reward excellence – If the new website generates much more revenue than expected, you should want to pay a larger percentage of the earnings to reward success and encourage outperformance.
What else do you think is necessary when working with a partner?