January 21, 2021

Outsourcing your development teams. Yes or no?

Shane Bird

Solo entrepreneurs? They don’t exist. 

If we burst your bubble, we’re sorry. But a successful entrepreneur is a prepared entrepreneur. And collaboration is key to any company’s success. The whole “team work makes the dream work” thing? It’s true. 


You’ve got your million billion dollar idea. What’s the next step? Most founders who have discovered a problem worth solving don’t have the ability to build a solution themselves. So you look for a technical co-founder, right? Well, you could. That would make sense. Attracting the right person at the right price and for the right piece of equity is no easy task though. Especially with an idea on a napkin. 


Take that napkin to a development agency. 

It’s quicker. Plus, you’re guaranteed a product. 


THE GOOD

Hire-A-Team

Outsourcing to a development agency means you don’t need to recruit a team. And you don’t need to train employees. It’s too early for that anyway. How will you know what you need in a team yet? 


This way, you only pay for development when you need it. Save your money and use it elsewhere, like marketing your product once it’s ready. Less admin. Less money. Less time wasted. Because synergy is a driving force in an established agency, any teething problems would have already occured. So you can rest assured that the developers see eye-to-eye. 



What’s yours is yours

You keep 100% of your company and get to call all the shots. Sure, you could argue that having a co-founder to share your founding responsibilities and duties is important. But at what cost? 

Choosing a co-founder means choosing someone to share your life’s work with. And if your business turns out to be a massive success, which it will, then you’re stuck with them forever. Okay, not forever. But you’ll have to spend a lot of time and make a whole lot of decisions with them. Is that what you want? 


Triple threat

Or quadruple. Or quintuple. You get the point. Software developers usually have quite a large portfolio in a range of different industries. Take Blott for example; we’ve got experience in Fintech, Event Tech, E-commerce and so on. 

Each project of ours is so different from the next. Is this a bad thing? Not at all. This just means we’re versatile. We have to be. Who wants to be building the same thing over and over, anyway? Not us. No thank you. 

Want to take a look at our portfolio?

See more


THE BAD

Your baby. Not theirs

“If you want something done, do it yourself.” But you can’t. You don’t know how. You’re motivated about this billion-dollar idea and if you could work on it 24/7, you would. But the pace of your development is set by the developers, and they work 8-5. They don’t have a lot of equity either, and they may have other clients. This could lead to frustration. Trust us, we get it. 

That’s why it’s important to use due diligence when outsourcing to a software development agency. You’re spending a lot of money, you need to be on the same page as your developers. So, pick wisely. And communicate. Chances are they aren’t going to waste time messing around. Not when this much cash is at stake. So don’t worry. And if you’re still worried, remember; you could be stuck scouting a co-founder with an idea on a napkin. Although it may take longer than you’d expect to get a first version out, it’s still quicker than any alternative. 



Funding?

Many investors don’t want to invest in companies that are outsourcing their development. Why? We’re not too sure. Company culture is a big thing to investors though. 

Having an in-house team build your product is pretty beneficial. Finding bugs and fixing problems is easier when your developers are working with their own creations. Plus, there’s the morale issue too. Who’s going to be more committed to excellence, a team who’s been around since day one, or a team who hasn’t? 

“Companies focused on a clear purpose have been shown to generate a 12x uplift in share price versus those who are not, so it’s really worth investing time in considering your company’s purpose, values and culture, and whether these are aligned.” - Justine Dixon 

Wasted

Eventually, you might hire an in-house developer once your startup has taken off. If your developer doesn’t agree with the way the software’s built, their solution will often be to rebuild. By now you’d have generated a lot of value for a lot of people, so your company would be worth a lot. 

Could you afford to rebuild? Maybe. But you wouldn’t be restarting from scratch. You’d have capital, insights and best of all, experience. None of which you’d have obtained without developing your first version of software. 

Does that mean you’d be happy to rebuild? That’s up to you. 


OUR ADVICE?

We don’t know whether you should hire a development agency or continue to hunt for a technical co-founder. And if you find a highly skilled, experienced co-founder and development team within your budget? Go for it. But it could take years. 

Nobody likes making big decisions. It’s always easier to not make a decision than it is to make one. Unfortunately, this gets you nowhere. And you’ve got a company to build. 

The most important thing? Start. No matter which approach you take.


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