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100 years of great collaboration

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Truly great collaboration partnerships don’t happen every day - or even every year. This Arkadin infographic looks at a century of great collaboration stories.

Even on multi-decade timescales, truly earth-shaking collaborations only pop up every decade or two. But when they do, they’re easy to recognise.

They involve big challenges, with the fate of nations and industries at their mercy. Perfect planning, with pin-sharp focus on strategy and strengths leading to extraordinary outcomes, changing the lives of billions.

The partnerships below aren’t the only ones, but they’re among the greatest. Collaborative technology - from transatlantic telegraphs to broadband conferencing and presence - played its role in every one.

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100 years of great collaboration

  1. 1. 100 years of great collaboration 1900 1901 1902 1903 1904 1905 1906 1907 1908 1909 1910 1911 1912 1913 1914 1915 1916 1917 1918 1919 1920 1921 1922 1923 1924 1925 1926 1927 1928 1929 1930 1931 1932 1933 1934 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949 1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 1900 - 1920 1920- 1940 Few think of America’s “Robber Barons” as collaborators, but in fact the men and women of these families worked together smoothly. Oil needed railroads; construction needed banking; businesses needed customers. With divergent businesses but shared goals, men like Rockefeller, Carnegie, Vanderbilt, and Morgan became the first billionaires. Questionable monopolistic practices led to kinder legacies - the universities, libraries, and hospitals that help millions today. What does a small artistic movement in 1920s Italy have to do with global collaboration? Everything. The Futurists’ delight in machines, movement, and speed made countless creatives see technology as a positive force for good. Futurism infused a scary, fast-changing world with breathless optimism. From the ambition of the Hoover Dam, to the Apollo programme to the architecture of Miami, the partnership of the Futurists is here in the present. The big event of the 20th century had a two-man collaboration at its core - without either of whom the result might have been very different. Churchill was a planner and strategist; Roosevelt had more reactive tactics. Roosevelt collected stamps, Churchill preferred whisky. Despite their differences, their transatlantic collaboration worked brilliantly, because their goals were clear and the consequences of failure huge. The greatest minds in tech began their careers where the transistorised circuit was invented. Just eight people2 from the same lab - including Moore and Noyce of Intel - had a hand in over 400 startups, creating the hotbed of innovation we call Silicon Valley. Why “traitorous”? All left Shockley Semiconductor due to the abrasive style of CEO William Shockley, despite inventing the tech that would one day enable greater collaboration than anyone ever dreamed of. Everyone knows Steve Jobs’ impact on computing, but few know Apple’s early days were an equal partnership between the design expert and another Steve named Wozniak. Academic “Woz” was the brains behind the early Apples, while Jobs focussed on how people used them - a novel approach before 1984. It’s made Apple today’s biggest and most profitable company. Yes. You. In today’s webbed world, great partnerships aren’t just between the rich and world-famous. The greatest collaboration of all is a sum: millions and billions of interactions over air and fibre, connecting the world’s people and ideas in a vast global conversation. You’re part of it. So are your friends colleagues, and customers. Partnerships take many forms, but they all have collaboration at the core. Every decade has its great collaborators - and technology enables them. Technology enables collaboration… but great partnerships still need human warmth. DEFINING TRAIT: Mutual gain Sometimes, collaboration doesn’t take communication. DEFINING TRAIT: Ideas take many forms but creative collaboration can keep them coherent. DEFINING TRAIT: Shared understanding, with common ground comes clear purpose. DEFINING TRAIT: Great collaboration is respect. Working in partnership means bringing more than one stroke of genius to the table and a whole set of additional ideas. DEFINING TRAIT: Clear roles. When different skillsets match, it’s marketing magic. DEFINING TRAIT: The power of all. Get everyone collaborating, and great things happen. Takeaway The gilded philanthropists The Futurists Churchill and Roosevelt The traitorous eight Jobs and Wozniak YOU 1940- 1960 1960- 1980 1980- 2000 2000- 2020 Sources: 1. http://visual.ly/8-famous-business-partnerships-really-worked 2. http://www.siliconvalleywatcher.com/mt/archives/2011/05/how_the_traitor.php 3. http://www.businessinsider.com/10-super-successful-cofounders-and-why-their-partnerships-worked-2011-6?op=1&IR=T [Enjoy sharing]

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