Business partnerships -- they can put a small business on the map. One of the most famous partnerships in recent history was between IBM and Microsoft. In 1980, IBM was a huge company. Microsoft was a small band of geeks. It might have stayed that way, except that IBM struck a deal to include the Microsoft DOS operating system in IBM's brand new invention, the personal computer. (Background in Wikipedia.) Subsequent to that deal, Microsoft then licensed the operating system to other PC manufacturers -- and the rest is history. But it was that first business partnership that put Microsoft on the path toward becoming the major force in the desktop -- and in the marketplace -- that it is today. It also put Microsoft's founder Bill Gates on the path to the top of the Forbes 400 list as the richest person in the world, with $53 Billion. Last week I attended the COSE Small Business Conference, and gave a couple of workshops. One of them was about partnering and strategic alliances. I have loaded my PowerPoint presentation online for you: The Art and Opportunity of Strategic Alliances. (If you save it to your own computer, I believe you can see my notes, which add information not on the slides themselves.) For additional background, you may also want to read the article I wrote recently for the Online Merchant Network for PayPal merchants: Turning Your Suppliers Into Partners.