A lot of this content is excerpted from a longer post written by Passive Panda, which is a great blog to read if you’re interested in starting a side business.
There is a small fish called a remora that is very different from most fish in the ocean.
The typical fish battles the harsh conditions of the ocean by themselves or in a small group. They are constantly in search of food and continually on the lookout for their predators.
But the remora is different.
The remora has developed a special fin on top of its back that acts as a suction cup. This fin allows the remora to attach itself to larger marine animals like sharks and manta rays.
Here is a picture of a remora using its special fin to attach to the bottom of a shark.
The animal that the remora is attached to — for example, the shark in the photo above — is known as the host species.
The host provides the remora with transportation through the water, protection from predators, and with chunks of food that are dropped while the host eats. In exchange, the remora cleans bacteria and other parasites from the host.
This might sounds like some kind of terrible analogy here because who wants to be a parasite. But there’s a beautiful lesson to be learned. This is mutually beneficial relationship, and one that allows the remora to avoid the struggles that most fish deal with on a daily basis.
Just as the remora partners with a strong host species to provide protection and food, startups should partner with a strong host business to better overcome the obstacles in any new venture.
The key is to cultivate a mutually beneficial relationship where you can bring a unique skill, and rely on your partner to provide other needs so that you don’t have to struggle to do everything on your own. This usually means you’ll need less capital to get started, and you won’t need to struggle as much with other quintessential startup problems such as marketing, user acquisition, legal etc.