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Howdy, partner.

A key route to success in the current technology landscape is through partnerships, big and small. The good news for a startup like ours is that CEOs agree. According to KPMG’s 2018 Global CEO Outlook Survey 61% of CEOs in the UK are relying on a network of third-parties to support their growth. What opportunities does that present for us and what challenges do we have to overcome?

Who are the Right Partners?


A partnership has to be mutually beneficial, for both our customers and for the prospective partner; both need to gain. We noticed early on that a very large number of people were interested in the data sets we could create, which gave us confidence that our business had legs. However, these deals all seemed one-sided, and we kept asking ourselves what was in it for our customers, the consumer? We consistently felt that the violation of privacy was not worth the benefits on offer from prospective business partners.


And so we started with a lateral thinking exercise, which is something Entrepreneur First in particular encourage. Lateral thinking involves approaching problems from interesting and creative perspectives to unlock new solutions. We asked the question, if most businesses wanted to encourage opening up of people's personal lives, were there any actors with a strong incentive to lock down personal data? Who had a market-based incentive to deny businesses access to your personal information?


Measuring Twice, Cutting Once.


It turns out there are a number of organisations who make it their business to protect your privacy. For instance, cyber risk insurance underwriters have a strong incentive for customer data to be protected. If your personal data is breached via your bank or retailer, they are often on the hook for the damages. As such, we are exploring partnerships in this space to co-market our product, which is highly complimentary (anyone interested in kickstarting the personal cyber risk insurance market please reach out!)


We are also exploring partnerships with other service providers in the new personal data and privacy management ecosystem, including companies that provide near-infallible authentication procedures using artificial intelligence techniques, businesses that offer scaleable and secure personal data cloud storage solutions, and compliance teams helping large organisations with their data protection challenges.


Iterate, Iterate, Iterate


Different markets have different product and design requirements; cryptocurrency products for example are notoriously difficult to use, often requiring some engineering expertise to do simple things like transfer funds from one wallet to another. Despite these user experience limitations which prevent the average consumer from engaging, they have enjoyed relatively wide adoption very quickly


Every partnership unlocks new learning, which in turn allows us to further refine our customer value proposition. While the core of our offering has not changed, the right partnerships allow us to focus on what we do best, which is creating value for our customers personal data without compromising their privacy. We believe it's the quickest path to scale.


Ben Falk, Founder of Yo-Da, was talking to David Savage

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