Altabel Group's Blog

How far can Outsourced Development take a Startup?

Posted on: May 19, 2015

Startups have short launchpads and high expectations. In order to lighten the yoke, many startup founders turn to outsourcing, letting a third party provider handle some aspects of the business.

If you do it the “right way”, you can build a very successful company that way. The right way is *not* to think of your remote team members as outsourcing, but as a key part of your team.

In considering outsourcing as a potential option, you must first weigh the positive and negative impacts. Outsourcing frees up leadership to focus on the parts of the business that differentiate you from the competition, while staying assured that the basic parts are all still operating properly.

Outsourcing is a great option for some startups, but it can be confusing. There’re 5 questions you should answer to decide if outsourcing is the solution:

What is outsourcing?
Outsourcing is the farming out of a business process or service to a third-party provider. Outsourcing frees up some mental space for founders and can sometimes even save money.

What exactly are you outsourcing?
There are certain skillsets which are difficult to bring in-house. It is essential to understand what you will and what you will not be outsourcing, to understand what should rest totally in your control and what can be handled by someone else.

Is the vendor startup-oriented?
The choice of which company to outsource to is important. Vendor should be very active in implanting best practices from the software industry into the startups they work with.

Are you a good client?
Good clients should know what they want, otherwise they’re effectively wasting their own money. A highly collaborative attitude is helpful too. Clients should want to understand the development process just as developers should get a handle in the product’s business objectives. A mismatch between end-project and expectations is often the result of poor communication.

Does the reputation of the vendor matter to you?
People often rely on reputation to make outsourcing decisions. Ask for reviews and recommendations of providers to try and determine which one best fits your needs.

Outsourcing is one of the earliest crucial decisions that startups have to make after inception. Often, the decision lies not in whether to outsource, but who to outsource to and how.

Do you outsource? Please share your experience in comments bellow.


Kristina Kozlova

Marketing Manager



Altabel Group

Professional Software Development


2 Responses to "How far can Outsourced Development take a Startup?"

On the basis that a software/tech start-up can’t exit with its tech/product roadmap running through a 3rd party – the outsourced relationship is really only viable through to launch+12 months. Its then a case that there needs to be a determined effort to transition to an internal team and resources so that there is inherent understanding and knowledge internally of the product and its construction within the core company. Selling the business with an external development partner is pretty unlikely.

You can’t outsource leadership.

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