The other day I wrote about the partnership that Half Off Depot and Google had entered. It's a big deal, but perhaps even more important then the deal itself was what it signified. Half Off Depot has grown to the point where it can do some partnership marketing.
Six years ago, I wrote an article on the stages of consumer Internet technology marketing. To quote myself:
As a company grows and starts to gain a little traction in the marketplace a wealth of partnership marketing opportunities can be pursued. These are business development channel type deals that can get a small but growing company much broader distribution and market credibility by associating with larger brand names if the right partners are chosen.
The key point being the last sentence. Once you reach a certain scale a small technology company needs to focus on continuing to grow by pursuing deals with larger companies that can give them more credibility and reach.