One of the dreams that you strive for in your business is to link and leverage your existing business with a new business, product, or offering that you are introducing to the market. It is super compelling to think about selling more product to the same people or to extend a product/service to new customers. Especially, when you don't have to proportionally deploy large incremental fixed costs. Hence, you should strive to "link" your existing business which implies that you have scale in order to "leverage" your existing investment. I still think scale is the sexiest word in the English dictionary but "link and leverage" is one of the sexiest concepts.
In technology companies, we see these concepts developing all-of-the-time. I was reminded of this from one of our favorite local tech retail juggernauts, Amazon. They have been thinking thru how to use their Amazon Prime service to extend other services to consumers. In late February, all Prime customers received an email announced their streaming video service to compete with NetFlix. This service is free to Amazon Prime customers. More recently, Amazon has started to give away free kindles (in conjunction with buying wireless phone plans). It will be interesting to see how their link and leverage strategy plays itself out.
There are many more examples. Smartphone photo app maker Instagram is closing a number of business development deals to incorporate their APIs. The most obvious example is Facebook's platform strategy around services like Facebook Connect. I’ve blogged about how Facebook is extending their grasp to the open Web in posts like this one. Once you have some scale and start to hammer out a ‘link and leverage’ strategy, you really do end up building truly meaningful, velocity ridden returns. Heck, the most recent example is the latest deal service that they (Facebook) are launching. Local deals on Facebook – look at FourSquare and Groupon.
If you are building an technology business where the product and business model are working (‘working’ means that you are generating meaningful revenues with a happy and enthused customer base), then I strongly encourage you to look for ways to extend your reach. Look to build out APIs for your product or service, build stronger and more exclusive deals, and bundle your products with other partners.