Is Starting a New Venture Possible with an Outsourced Team?

Is Starting a New Venture Possible with an Outsourced Team?
Is Starting a New Venture Possible with an Outsourced Team?

Starting a new venture can be risky, especially without the proper support. In this article, I will share a solution for founders, intrapreneurs, and entrepreneurs pursuing ideas that have been delayed due to limited resources and the fear of outsourcing product development. Keep reading if you've put your ideas on the back burner because of a lack of the right team and resources. There might be an alternative for you.

Outsourcing: A Strategy Embraced by Successful Companies

Outsourcing involves delegating certain business functions or projects to external firms or specialists. In software development, this can range from coding and app development to entire system overhauls. The advantages are numerous:

  1. Cost-Effectiveness: Outsourcing can be more cost-effective than maintaining an in-house team, especially when it comes to specialized tasks. It eliminates the need for extensive training, hiring, and infrastructure development.
  2. Access to Global Talent: Outsourcing opens doors to a global talent pool. Companies can find highly skilled professionals with specialized expertise, which might be scarce or expensive in their home country.
  3. Focus on Core Business: By outsourcing peripheral activities, companies can concentrate on their core business functions. This leads to better resource allocation and improved productivity in areas that directly contribute to business growth.
  4. Flexibility and Scalability: Outsourcing offers the flexibility to scale operations up or down based on business needs without the long-term commitment of hiring full-time employees.

Successful Examples of Outsourcing

Outsourcing, a tool once viewed merely as a cost-cutting measure, has evolved into a vital strategy for growth and innovation. This is evident in the stories of companies like:

  1. Slack: Slack initially outsourced its website, application, and logo development. At launch, it had 8,000 users.
  2. Expensify: Outsourced its back-end development to focus on front-end and business operations.
  3. Microsoft: Outsourced its internal IT operations, which significantly reduced IT support costs.

These companies didn't just survive; they thrived by leveraging the expertise of outsourced teams. This approach allowed them to access a global talent pool, reduce time to Product-Market Fit, and focus on their core competencies, proving that strategic outsourcing is a cornerstone of modern business success.

What if My Domain is More Complicated?

Certainly, you may think that your company and its domain are much more complicated than the examples presented earlier. This is a common belief among founders, who say finding an external team that knows their domain is tough. Based on my experience, it is almost impossible. Why?

  • Many Software Houses claim to be experts in a particular domain, but this is not true. They may be experts in code development and product work and have experience in similar domains to yours, but there's still a long way to go to be a true expert in a specific domain.
  • If a Software House has been developing a project similar to yours, chances are good that they won't be able to work with you due to an obvious conflict of interest.
  • Even if they don't have competitive restrictions, if your domain is very complicated, their knowledge may not be up to date.

Of course, some outstanding individuals and businesses combine industry and product expertise, but being a Jack of all trades often means being a master of none.

Navigating Complexity in Outsourced Development

It's important to know that even though something may seem complex, it doesn't mean it's impossible. The key lies in the strategic breakdown of these complex domains into smaller, more digestible components, a process in which external teams excel. Their strength isn't in having knowledge of a specific domain but in their systematic approach to deconstructing complex systems. They excel in dissecting these systems into their fundamental elements, identifying recurring patterns, and focusing intently on what truly sets your Product apart – its unique features or innovative aspects.

This decomposition process is not only about simplification but also about strategic analysis and identification of universal elements within a domain. For instance, aspects like invoicing or user authentication often follow standard patterns and can be addressed with established solutions. Recognizing and utilizing these universal components can significantly streamline the development process. Doing so can transform a seemingly overwhelming domain into a series of manageable tasks and challenges.

Moreover, this approach allows for a more efficient allocation of resources. Instead of reinventing the wheel, teams can apply proven solutions to common problems, freeing up time and energy to focus on the novel aspects of your project – the parts that truly differentiate your product in the market.

How to Effectively Deal with a Complex Domain?

If you're still not convinced that an external team can help you start a new venture, I have something for you - well-known problem space and solution space framework that we use ourselves to understand the process better.

Getting the perspective of your users (problem space):

This phase is to understand what problem you are trying to solve, what is the scale of the problem, what is the strategy you want to get your first 10, 100, 100 clients, what competitors are, what is different about your solution, what is your unique value proposition. If you are missing some of those, we are here to help and work on them using our knowledge.

If you want to explore that space of your own, I would recommend checking the following materials:

  1. Value Proposition
  2. Your first 10 customers
  3. The Product Market Fit game

We need to get as sharp as we can on your user's perspective. This usually is a call with an experienced Product Manager who moderates the conversation about the problem.

Jumping into solution space.

Decomposition, which breaks down the underlying problems into smaller ones and divides the system into major components, helps us identify common patterns in the information architecture.

By doing this, we can determine what is unique to the specific system and the already well-known problem. Archetypes, typical parts of the system found in most applications, can often be skipped during domain exploration. Focusing on the unique parts speeds up the discovery process. In my experience, many features that initially seem unique are actually Archetypes that have already been explored. Why is this important? If we can accurately identify an Archetype, we can utilize existing patterns and accelerate development by integrating specialized SAAS solutions into our system.

Materials that can help do the decomposition of your system:

  1. Event Storming
  2. Enterprise Patterns and MDA: Building Better Software with Archetype Patterns and UML

Our approach to acquiring the context of new products

In Appunite, we usually start with a 1-2 hour of conversation in the form of a video call. The conversation is led by one of our experienced Product Managers, who explores the problem brought by you. That gives us enough insight to do our own research on already existing solutions and competitors to know how to continue the exploration and how to involve specialists in further processes. That way, we can avoid burning a lot of budget by involving the whole team in days-long workshops, which usually end up with tons of documentation that invalidates itself the first week after the development kick-off. We stay as long as we can in the problem space to gain a lot of knowledge that finally allows us to see the Product through the eyes of users. That's a solid foundation for further exploring. Depending on our hypothesis, we plan the next step, which might involve creating a Product Strategy, building POC to check if the solution is viable, or designing the system.

Take the Leap with Confidence: Your Complex Domain, Our Expertise

At this point, you might still need clarification about whether an external team can truly grasp and effectively contribute to your complex domain. It's a valid concern, but here at Appunite, we specialize in turning entanglement into clarity and feasibility. Don't let the complexity of your domain be a barrier to innovation and growth. Click here to book your free consultation and discover how Appunite can transform your ambitious vision into a tangible, market-ready product. Let's build something extraordinary together.