Name the Greatest Business Partnerships

Last Updated Aug 28, 2009 10:56 AM EDT

Asked by to name his top five historical partnerships, Harvard Business School Dean Jay Light produced this unlikely list:
  1. Marie and Pierre Curie
  2. Meriwether Lewis and William Clark
  3. Larry Bird, Robert Parish and Kevin McHale
  4. Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard
  5. James D. Watson and Francis Crick
Lewis and Clark are highlighted, for example, because they are a fine example of complementary opposites. Writes Light:
"Lewis and Clark bonded over a shared love for the outdoors, but they had markedly different personalities. Lewis was a moody, introverted intellectual with a deep knowledge of cartography and natural science. Clark was the gregarious extrovert with a natural flair for leadership. Lewis needed Clark to keep up the esprit de corps through three arduous years while he focused on scientific discovery. Clark simply needed a job."
Dear readers, let's create our own lists, but confine your nominations to business leaders. No politicos, sports stars or musicians, please.

Here's my nomination: Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs. At the dawn of the personal computer generation, Wozniak had the technical genius and Jobs had the marketing instincts to transform early attempts at a personal computer such as the Altair, which appealed to hobbyists, into an eventually mainstream consumer electronics device.

Who would you nominate to the Business Partnership Hall of Fame?

  • Sean Silverthorne

    Sean Silverthorne is the editor of HBS Working Knowledge, which provides a first look at the research and ideas of Harvard Business School faculty. Working Knowledge, which won a Webby award in 2007, currently records 4 million unique visitors a year. He has been with HBS since 2001.

    Silverthorne has 28 years experience in print and online journalism. Before arriving at HBS, he was a senior editor at CNET and executive editor of ZDNET News. While at At Ziff-Davis, Silverthorne also worked on the daily technology TV show The Site, and was a senior editor at PC Week Inside, which chronicled the business of the technology industry. He has held several reporting and editing roles on a variety of newspapers, and was Investor Business Daily's first journalist based in Silicon Valley.