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United We Stand

Rather than swim alone in today's murky business waters, entrepreneurs are pairing up through strategic alliances.

This story appears in the April 1998 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

No man is an island. No business is an island, either. No matter how large or small, every company is just one tiny piece of the complex puzzle that makes up the business environment of the '90s. In reality, few companies are shaping their industries by generating all the innovations alone. Rather than ignoring what others are doing in the marketplace, many believe that success in today's competitive business world demands a keen sense of other companies' actions and how those activities shape, enhance and even benefit their own businesses.

Consequently, more and more companies are finding it advantageous--even necessary--to form strategic alliances. Businesses are forging partnerships in record numbers to develop products, share resources and pool expertise. The typically temporary nature of alliances makes them even more palatable to entrepreneurs. Partnerships foster mutual benefits, but unlike a merger, ownership remains with the respective parties--and the alliance exists only as long as it's advantageous to both.

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