I am collecting personal anecdotes for a book project.
Have you been involved in a failed business partnership or project collaboration? Please share your story with me!
As anyone who has been driven to start a business knows, our grand dreams and visions are seldom achievable through our own endeavours alone. We seek out like-minded others in our efforts to create what we are driven to create.
And yet, business partnership (or project collaboration) failures must far out-number the successes. There are already loads of books out there celebrating the great successes. But where are the ones that speak of the tribulations and the small wins of failed partnerships?
I propose that there are more valuable, accessible and visceral, lessons to be learnt from the failures. I want to look beyond the legal and mechanical aspects of partnerships. I want to get to the personal and the real. I want to examine real-world situations that are not as black-and-white as the law may want to pretend humanity is. Business is personal. Business partnerships and collaborations are personal too.
Where there is great passion, there will also be great pain. Telling the stories of our failures will be cathartic. Let’s face it, failures hurt like hell. They raise all sorts of very human emotions like betrayal, loss, and even depression. Emotions that we are supposed deny in the “professional” arena of “business”, but yet play a huge part in influencing our decisions.
The greater goal here is to enable more successful True Collaborations (as defined by Michael Port in The Think Big Manifesto), which in turn enables the realisation of more ideas and new concepts.
Send Me Your Story
Please send your personal business partnership or project collaboration failure story to: email@example.com with “failed partnerships” in the subject line. Entries close 30 November 2009.
I am interested in stories about failed business partnerships or project collaborations only. This can include partners in a company, a legally-defined partnership, or an agreement to collaborate on a project. I am not looking for stories on personal partnerships.
The endeavour you were involved in must be directed towards a business goal, which can be for-profit or not-for-profit. It must be driven by a strong vision, and with a strong values-based approach. I am interested in stand-out business concepts that demanded an investment of vision and passion as well as the more mundane practicalities like capital.
In your own words, tell me:
- How did you start?
- How did you meet your partner(s)?
- What steps did you take to discover and align your dreams and values?
- What was the nature of your endeavour/business?
- How did you divide up the costs, profits, responsibilities, ownership etc.?
- What type of agreement did you have? Written? Oral?
- How long did the partnership/collaboration last?
- What happened (both the good and the bad)?
- Where is the relationship is at now?
- How you exited the partnership (or plan to)?
- What insights could you draw from your situation?
- How did this situation affect you personally and professionally?
- What would you do differently if you could go back and do it again?
- Would you partner or collaborate with another person again?
- What would you say to someone about to enter a partnership or collaboration?
If I shortlist your story, I will conduct more in-depth email interviews/discussions with you about specific details.
Terms and Conditions
By sending me your story, you are agreeing to the terms below:
- You will not be paid or otherwise compensated for your contributions.
- I will decide which stories to include in my book at my sole discretion. If I am inundated with stories, I may not be able to respond to everyone.
- I may not include your story in my book – even if I have entered into email discussions with you about your story.
- Any material you send me may be included in my book, and may be edited by me at my discretion. I may send you draft copies to verify facts, but I reserve sole editorial rights to my book.
- I will own the copyright to any material I include in my book.
- I will change the names, locations and other appropriate details to protect the privacy of the parties mentioned.
- If your story makes it into my book, I will acknowledge your contribution by listing your name (or a nickname if preferred) in the acknowledgements page. Your name will not be directly linked to your story.
- Privacy and confidentiality is important to me. I will only use your email address to discuss issues specific to your story and my book only.
- I am not providing counselling, therapy, legal advice, or consulting services in the course of our email conversations.
- I reserve to right to change these terms and conditions at any time.
If you are a publisher and would like to take this book on please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.