Not every start-up and not every founder team that conceives technical product ideas has a technical background. If you are one of them, what should you do-build a team internally or switch to outsourcing product development?
A non-technical founder always has the below four choices while validating their product ideas:
- Look for technical co-founders (similar to finding a lifelong partner)
- Hire an internal technical team (longer learning curve and high investment)
- Outsourcing product development (the first choice of many non-technical founders in the MVP stage)
- Learn to write your own code (it may take years to become a full-stack developer)
Each of these options has its advantages and disadvantages, you can choose according to the stage your start-up is in. Multi-billion dollar start-ups like Skype, Slack as well as highly successful start-ups like Fab, Klout, AppSumo, GitHub, Basecamp, Opera, to name a few had all outsourced their product development in their nascent years.
Being a custom software development company that’s worked with several funded and bootstrapped start-ups, we strongly feel outsourcing your product development is a viable option for building the first version of your product.
Why is Outsourcing Vital for Start-up Product Development?
The world is surviving and will survive COVID-19, but companies will continue to face the consequences of the pandemic and will need to adopt, adapt, and evolve to survive this crisis. How can young and growing start-ups sustain from technology standpoint during the epidemic? How to develop a strategy around your software development? Lets hear from a few recent successful start-ups and what their Cofounders had to say about their strategy:
Outsource Your MVP Early
“Outsourcing development has time and place. When the design, interaction and requirements of the product are highly clear, outsourcing the development team is most effective. Compared with in-house developers, talent is usually cheaper and more flexible, and can be scaled up or down quickly”, says Andrea Barrett, Co-founder and Vice President of Product, UrbanSitter.
Strictly Define Your Product to the Outsourcing Team
“If you can outline your product specifications and ensure that you oversee development operations, then outsourcing the first version of your product can definitely pay off”, says Bram Kanstein, Co-founder of We are off the record.
Now that we have established outsourcing could be a strategic business decision in your start-up journey, let us look at a few tactical questions to ask before outsourcing.
Questions to Answer for Effective Start-up Product Development ‘Outsourcing’
To make outsourcing an effective process for your company’s product development, several steps are required. As long as you get the answers to these questions, you will eventually hire a highly reliable and trustworthy team for your business
1. What is the Scope, Size, and Complexity of the Project?
The key is to make outsourcing an effective process for product development. First, the company needs to define the scope of the project. What do you want to achieve with this project? It takes effort to translate the idea into the entire setup. In addition, it is also important to define which technologies and tools are suitable for the project process. Your project cannot rely solely on any technology; only after proper planning and analysis can you truly determine the technology stack for product development.
Defining the scope of the project is crucial. Once you have a clear project goal, you can more easily communicate it to the outsourcing team. When the outsourcing team clearly understands the scope of the project, they can easily achieve the expected results and milestones. In addition, setting clear guidelines at the beginning of the project will only avoid any obstacles in the development process. You can even build a better relationship with the outsourcing team. Therefore, to clarify the scope of the project, you first need to understand it yourself.
2. Do You have the Right Team Identified with Required Skillsets?
The next step is to invest in the right outsourcing team. If this is not done correctly, your development process will not be so effective. When you understand your project, the outsourcing team will be more effective. In addition, you even need to let the hired outsourcing team understand your business goals and ensure a business level and cultural alignment.
Appointing an outsourcing team means that the team can be hired flexibly according to business goals. In addition, when you outsource a team for product development, it is recommended to plan and interview multiple teams before finalizing a team. You can’t just go to one team at a time. It takes time and energy to choose a team based on how well the team meets your business needs. Conduct interviews with different teams, analyze which team suits your business needs, and then select the best team with basic expertise, knowledge and skills.
3. Is there a well-established and Transparent Communication Channel?
Another important factor to consider when hiring a team for your product development process is “clear communication.” First, clearly and concisely state the goals, priorities, and expectations of the business. Then, make sure you invest time in building a good relationship with the outsourcing team. This is possible when you communicate clearly with the outsourcing team.
The progress of the outsourcing team should be discussed regularly. You should not only mention how effective their work is, but also what can be improved.. In addition, clear communication can even help achieve the desired results. Therefore, it is recommended to invest as much time as necessary to hire one of the best outsourcing teams for your product development process. When hiring a team for product development, continuous communication is required to successfully complete the process.
4 .Do You Know When to Choose outsourcing?
As a start-up company, you must know when to choose outsourcing. For this, you must have a real product idea. Turn this idea into a suitable business, and then make a suitable plan to make a profit from it. A certain roadmap must be followed to establish a reliable business in this market. Therefore, when doing product development, you must know when to switch to outsourcing. You must know when you really need to hire a team for your business.
The following are when you should choose to outsource to support your start-up product development:
- Need to translate your ideas into actual business
- Your company is looking for scalability
- Improve return on investment and profits
- Need more skillsets in your team
- Cost savings
Therefore, when your company needs to outsource a start-up product development team, these may be the basic reasons. When you know how to choose outsourcing, you have a high chance of bringing success to your business. Therefore, be smart enough when you need to “outsource” in order to properly use your advantages.
What to Consider When Outsourcing Start-up Product Development?
Certain factors need to be considered when outsourcing product development. Before choosing “outsourcing”, you must understand the following.
- The technical details involved-what skillsets, tools and techniques are needed to complete your project? Does your outsourcing team understand the technical details of your project? Well, if they don’t, they may not be suitable for your business. Alternatively, the outsourcing team should be familiar with the latest technologies and tools to provide the best results.
- Complexity of the project-how complex is the product you want to show on the market? What is the size and actual scope of work? It is important to understand what expertise your project requires. You must understand the types, requirements, and functions of the products that are critical to the project. After you fully understand your project, you must outsource your product development.
- The costs involved-please consider the costs involved in the entire outsourcing process, as this will affect your overall budget. The costs involved must be properly analyzed in advance so that there will be no shortage of funds when needed in the subsequent process. Check the flexibility of the engagements models of the outsourcing partner and if their models align with your business strategy. Fixed price, Time & Materials, Offshore Delivery Centres are a few of the models start-ups can consider while outsourcing.
When companies define their expectations and reduce risk, outsourcing product development to reliable technology partners like Pratiti Technologies can allow startups to compete with competitors that are making waves in the market. However, it is very important to find an outsourced software product development company to balance quality and cost while ensuring that you maintain the confidentiality, security, and control of the project.
The global knowledge passed on to offshore development centers can help your company become better in order to compete in the international market. The main reason that offshore product development has become a popular choice is that it allows companies to survive temporary difficult times. In addition, it saves money and is not a once-and-for-all option. If you plan to develop profit quickly without compromising on its quality, outsourcing is the best way. But this method will only work if you work with the right startup development company. Are you ready to outsource product development? Contact us now and get a free consultation.