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“Partnering” by Jean Oelwang

Tangible lessons from 65+ of the world's most remarkable partnerships.


Friends and cofounders of Innocent Drinks and JamJar Investments

Richard Reed, Adam Balon, and Jon Wright


In 1998, college friends Richard Reed, Adam Balon, and Jon Wright founded Innocent Drinks, which they grew into Britain’s biggest smoothie brand and later sold to Coca-Cola. Along the way, they also created JamJar Investment Company to identify and develop digital consumer brands.

“Amazingly the bit that I wanted to do was different to the bit that Adam wanted to do, which was different to the bit that Jon wanted to do. So we found ourselves in this sort of dream team scenario where same values, but each got different skills, wanting to do different bits. So it was really complementary.”

Richard Reed

“It was only being in a team that allowed us to get through it. Because when one of us was having a bad day or even two of us were having a bad day, there’s a third person that might be having a good day that could encourage the others to keep going and then the next day there might’ve been a redistribution of that motivation. So I know for myself no way was I going to have done that by myself. I wouldn’t have had the confidence to start and I wouldn’t have the capability to get there.”

Richard Reed

“Look, the most important thing you’re ever going… Decision you’re ever going to make is the people that you choose to spend your life with, personal or professional. We are nothing other than really the summation of our sort of relationships. So choose wisely should be the decision you spend and think a lot of time about.”

Richard Reed

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