This is a subscriber-only article. Join Entrepreneur+ today for access

Learn More

Already have an account?

Sign in
Entrepreneur Plus - Short White
For Subscribers

What Makes a Perfect Collaboration? Weakness, Conflict and Doughnuts The Esquire guy on who to share ideas with, how to get started and a way to figure out who should get the credit.

By Ross McCammon

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

To collaborate with another person is to admit weakness. There's no way of getting around it. If you weren't in a position of weakness, you wouldn't need anyone else's help. When engaging in a collaboration, you're saying, I don't know how to do this on my own. You're both saying that. You're co-failing, really. Which is the best way to start a partnership. Because along with vulnerability comes trust. And trust is everything.

Who to Collaborate With
There are two criteria. You want a peer, obviously--you can't have a true collaboration with someone who is above or below you hierarchically. But more important than a peer, you want a complement. You need a Jobs to your Wozniak, a Hall to your Oates, a rhino to your tickbird. You want someone who knows as much as you do, just not about the same things.

"The fact that I don't have any technical background means I'm not impeded by my knowledge of what it's going to take to build something, so I'm free to just dream up features and ideas," says Cyrus Farudi, founder along with Omri Cohen of Capsule, a web and mobile app built for event planning, group interaction and photo sharing. "Luckily, my partner, who has a technical background, has a very "yes, it can be done' attitude. There have been screaming matches when I've tried to get too involved in something on the tech side."