Originally asked by George: I am curious what do you think about the hiring of outsourcing software development company to build MVP or on later stages for startups?
As @tomaszw rightfully said – “it depends”. Which also happens to be my favorite answer to almost any question. Without knowing the circumstances – it is hard to say that one option is better than the other.
Do you have 1 000 000 in the bank account and are a CEO of a big corporation, and you want to check out a startup idea you have? Go ahead and hire a development team to do it.
Are you a student with 2 500 EUR in net worth? Learn to code and do the most basic MVP yourself.
Catch my drift? There isn’t a cut and dry answer to this question. That being said, perhaps we can try to answer another one, which might be helpful to you and others.
What are some ways of how you could do an MVP?
1. Do not do it, and do an MVS instead.
By MVS, I mean – Minimum Viable Sale. In other words – do a powerpoint presentation or a simple landing page and see if people would “buy” your idea with a presentation (B2B) or subscribe for your product (B2C) before it is actually ready. Once you have some traction – start coding/building.
2. Learn to code and do the most basic MVP of your idea.
Depending on the idea – most of them can be done with a rather limited amount of coding skills. At least the very basic functionality of your idea, or the wireframes.
3. Code a basic app, but do the actual “work” manually. Before Airbnb worked as it does today – everything was done manually on the back-end. Which is also true for many startups. This is the well known “fake it, before you make it” approach. Can your idea be implemented manually using an excel sheet? Do that.
4. Invite a few coders for a weekend of playing computer games and coding and MVP. Make it fun for your friends, and promise equity/profit share if it works out. Most MVP’s can easily be done in a hackathon setting over the course of a weekend, and most nice developers do not mind coding and having fun with friends.
These are just some of the ways. You could also consider: getting a co-founder, paying a freelancer, only making wireframes, only making the design, participating in professional hackathons (such as our CityHack or maybe Garage48), etc.
When it comes to larger companies – definitely. Most good startups I know – outsource at least a part of their work. Usually the most non-essential and boring parts.
Hope this helps.
P.S. If you have a question that you would like to ask or that is bothering you, just ask away here.