There are a few different ways you can outsource a project. You can hire freelancers, use a development agency or hire US based leaders to manage a team of remote freelancers.
The best choice will depend on your budget, time available and your comfort level with outsourcing.
Here are some pros and cons of all options to help you make a decision:
Outsourcing With Freelancers
Short Lead Times: Less time hiring can mean quicker time to market.
Affordable: Ability to hire any developer from across the world, using dollar arbitrage to take advantage of price differences between two markets.
Ideal for Short-Term Projects: Great for micro-tasks and non-core short term projects to reduce overhead and increase speed to market.
Marketplace Talent: Upwork, Freelancer.com, Guru, 99Designs
Premium Developer Talent: Toptal, Crew.co
Intellectual Property Not In-House: Having the development of a technology product outsourced carries risk of exposing IP.
Communication Gap: Developers working in different time zones in different countries can limit communication times, which may lead to unnecessary overhead. Also, communicating with people in different countries can lead to miscommunications and delayed projects.
Design/Engineering Styles Different: Specialists should be native to your platform so they understand the market’s design. It’s easier for a developer to be effective if their experiences reside in the country you work in.
More Handholding: More feedback loops required with technical talent in emerging markets. Lots of back and forth can lead to miscommunication. Especially if you haven’t laid out strong project guidelines and documentation.
Fake Profiles: Some individuals exaggerate their talent in these marketplaces that can lead to uncertain results.
Outsourcing With Software Development Agencies
The other form of outsourcing option is hiring a development shop to build your software product.
Good for Short-Term Projects: Development shops located in your city or US are good for building prototypes, minimum viable products.
Effective Communication: These development shops are usually based within the US. Due to their stateside locations, they have an experienced product manager, CTO and a business head. This combo of professional leadership with technical talent helps bring the product to market quicker.
Great Talent: Most agencies employ good talent that work on multiple projects within the development shop.
New York: Quora Answers SF: Quora Answers
High End development shops: Thoughtworks, Hashrocket, Pivotal Labs
Expensive: Development shops are more focused on building a product and moving on. They usually cost $200-$300 an hour especially the ones located in the US.
Not Sustainable: They typically have a finite team, and when they get new projects they move yours back depending on cost of project.
The New Outsourcing Model
Here at Scalable Path (a network of 2500+ tech talent) we often recommend a hybrid type model. There is a new model combines outsourcing’s affordability with in-house accountability. The model combines premium developers, designers and marketers in North and South America with a leadership team residing in the US to help develop – all working within the same time zone. This matchmaking of talent and project leadership lowers risk and saves time. It also allows you to augment or reduce staff size depending on the needs of a business while giving you complete control on the product development process.
Talent with managed leadership highlights a new sourcing model and here are some of its pros and cons:
Leadership – Key Differential: On-demand premium talent combined with managed leadership. These leaders have track records, provide quality results and act quickly. They are experienced Project Managers, CTOs, Architects, and expert Growth Hackers. These experienced leaders speak your language and are based out of the US. Having leaders helps keep your project transparent, on-time, and delivers high quality results. This managed leadership lowers risk and guarantees success.
Flexibility: Manage the team yourself, or let a platform like ours, here at Scalable Path, help. It’s up to you.
Affordable: Developers can be hired anywhere between $40-$65/hour.
Same Time Zone: Leadership and developers all work in the US time zones, which prevents communication gaps.
Short Lead Time: It takes 0-3 weeks to define goals, match talent and start working.
Partner to Get You to Scale: The group of strategists and technologists are your path to scale. Literally. They work with funded startups who recognize the need to access talent quickly and affordably, projects that need to be rescued and most importantly, on-demand with low overhead.
Design/Engineering Styles In-Sync: Leaders that have experience in product design and development in the US that can help you lead to an effective solution better.
Matchmaking –Matching premium talent to reduce risk, save time, and guarantee better results.