Despite what we are often led to believe, most great brands are not built by lone geniuses. They are built on the back of complementary thinkers. Most often, two.
The basis of these partnerships is either competitive or complementary.
Take JR Tolkien and CS Lewis who formed a competitive partnership. It was only through their need to outplay one another that both writers went on to define 20th century fantasy.
In contrast, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak built one of history’s most talked about brands through a complementary partnership. Steve Jobs’ innovative perception of business fused almost perfectly with Steve Wozniak’s finesse for programming.
Such partnerships are a dance. And whilst the distance between dancers changes, as each individual spins off on their own, the pair always returns to one another – bowing out as one.
It is these partnerships that take things to the next level.
The pair helps us recognise the relationship between the individual and the team and injects an excitement into the creative process that is almost impossible to grasp alone. Things move a little quicker. Hurdles appear a little shorter. And the overall goal seems undoubtedly clearer.
This is not to say that solitude doesn’t lead to remarkable breakthroughs. Run solo and gather your own thoughts. But then bring them to the table. For collaboration is the catalyst of truly great work.