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STARTUPS THAT HAVE BECOME A SUCCESS WITH OUTSOURCED DEVELOPMENT

Illustration by thestartupkids.com

04:58 | Aug 30 , 2016 | Kateryna Cengiz -Outsource

STARTUPS THAT HAVE BECOME A SUCCESS WITH OUTSOURCED DEVELOPMENT

It’s all the same old story about the one with an idea that can turn the world around. Oddly enough, in most cases it does, but will the idea live to its moment of glory? Will it become a success? It will all depend on the execution, the talent pull, and the deep and thorough understanding of your business needs, and let me tell you upfront – it’s no one man’s struggle.

Every startup in the course of its lifecycle faces numerous challenges. Lots of them are quite trivial. However, several can hinder their development from the very beginning.

First of all such critical matters are: technological implementation of your ideas, fast growth, and team expansion. Will outsourcing software development to another company help your startup avoid those challenges? The short answer is ‘yes, it will’, but let’s talk about that in more depth. In what way and due to what circumstances the startup will really get the technological advance.

WHY GO WITH A SOFTWARE VENDOR?

By outsourcing software development, entrepreneurs avoid worries with choosing the correct technology, spending nights and days coding, then testing and so on. With a vendor company or at least a team, the entrepreneur can concentrate on working out decent marketing strategies, looking for investors, or inventing new ingenious ideas. Valuable time is spent on growing valuable business. Too often stakeholders have an awesome concept, but need help around technical implementation, since technical execution often remains an intolerable burden to take on.

THOSE WHO SUCCEEDED WITH OUTSOURCED DEVELOPMENT

While some of us keep weighing pros and cons of working with a dream team that would take a startup to a successful exit, we suggest looking at the selection of those who didn’t go wrong:

ImageOpera: This company relied on developers in other countries to create and implement its web platform.

MySQL: The company used mostly outsourced staff in various countries to scale up operations in each separate location.

Github: The company has used numerous freelancers working virtually from home.

Basecamp: The same outsourcing practice as used by Github worked well for Basecamp, and eventually it became a technology leader.

Skype: It’s none of a secret that Skype used to work with development team abroad which lead them to become a market leader.

JPay.com: Offshore developers built the technology and infrastructure of the company. They were engaged into quality assurance, engineering, and hardware. Finally, owners managed to sell the company to Securus Technology.

ImageFab: This large startup partnered with development companies to maximize funding when their business showed signs of growth.

Alibaba: Known to many as “China’s eBay.” Jack Ma, the man who created it, and his friends outsourced the development when they had just started the venture.

Slack: In early days, this company used to outsource development of its solution. It’s valued at $3 billion now, by the way.Image

Gliffy: Company that offers web-based tools for marking various diagrams has outsourced certain aspects of its technology development.
 

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE CONSIDERING A SOFTWARE VENDOR

However, the questions whether startups should or should not outsource, remains quite controversial especially in terms of what to outsource and when. So what are the essential preconditions of the successful outsourced development for the startup projects?

ALWAYS CHECK WHETHER THE COMPANY HAS A GOOD TRACK RECORD OF COOPERATION WITH STARTUPS

You are ought to have an idea of whom you are hiring. Always check whether a company has a successful history of cooperation with startups. Never compromise credibility. Just never. Сhoosing mediocre vendor in exchange for the lower rates will lead your business to a tight corner.

USE AN OBJECTIVE EVALUATION PROCESS WHEN HIRING A DEVELOPMENT VENDOR

You have full right to claim proofs of vendor’s competence. Investigate their website, ask for case studies and references, test their brand. Always pay due attention to communication, to put it in a nutshell.

DON’T SET YOUR BUDGET TOO TIGHT

Before you approach a vendor it is highly recommended to have a financial plan for at least 1-2 years. This will help you attract an experienced technological partner that will help you grow and scale the business.

DON’T FORGET TO LEGALLY PROTECT YOUR CONCEPT AND INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

Always sign proper agreements or contracts with a vendor. It seems obvious but most startups encourage informal atmosphere and constantly neglect formal requirements. Mind that the legal agreements with respect to intellectual property are extremely important in order to protect the intellectual assets of your business and release you from problems in the years ahead. Always work with legal experts to verify NDA.

ALWAYS THINK BIG WHEN YOU ARE CHOOSING A SOFTWARE VENDOR

One of your concerns should be a long-term commitment of the vendor to your business. In other words, you want to stick with the vendor for couple of reasons. First and foremost – you don’t want your code to be picked-up by a different developer. It doesn’t always work in a way you’d expect. Second – the company that will commit to a long-term relationship is not a vendor any more, but rather a technical partner. This will help you pass the CTO-related management to the guys that know their way around technology and concentrate on what’s really important to your business. Now, when this is a way to go, you can always mix and take part in all the activities related to your business – manage a team of developers, and ask for help in bringing your business to market.

LET’S SUM IT UP

So, you want to build an app, but need technical implementation, CTO services, or/and business consultancy? Save your time & money, and look for a reliable vendor. Always check, talk, think, and consider. It will help you understand just how credible the company is. At the end of the day – you’re the one responsible for the outcome of your business.

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