19 years ago, I was surprised when I heard from my financial partner that he had decided to pull his financing back from our joint venture.
If I had done my due diligence right, I would have known that our collaboration was not created to last. The culture and strategy of his company did not align with my values and plans. I would also have learned, from publicly available information, that his financial situation was not as good as he had presented it. I could have known, but I did not, simply because I liked my counterpart as a person and I naively thought that it would work out well together.
Alliance partner selection asks for more than just personal likeability. Unfortunately, my mistake is a common mistake, and not just among small companies: I have also seen it happen at large corporations. Same mistakes at a different scale.
I know one can not always perform a rigorous partner selection as described in my book. However, do at least assess the differences in culture, operations and strategy. That assessment will allow you and your partner to get to know each other. It will be the foundation for a concrete plan to bridge the differences.
To help you out in this process, you can download the free (for now) draft of the Alliance Partner Assessment paper and tool here. The only thing I will ask for, somewhere in the future, is to hear your feedback on how to improve the usability of this tool.