I am a non-technical entrepreneur who wants to build a mobile app. I am thinking of outsourcing the development to an overseas firm. I am not sure what the risks or alternatives might be. What are some options that I should consider, and what firms do you recommend?
I recommend that you get technical cofounder as soon as possible. Using a contract developer to create a prototype is ok but keep in mind that startups need to iterate and be very flexible in the early stages of company/product development.
A contract developer works best on a fixed spec and will be hard to adapt without a lot of extra costs and frustration on both sides.
Go get a tech cofounder, somebody invested in your product and willing to be flexible and adapt as you discover what your product really is.
Completely agreed with Daniel. Outsourcing your app's development is very risky and that risk increases exponentially if you yourself have never built and/or launched an app before.
Daniel's advice to recruit a technical cofounder is also something I agree with but this isn't as easy as it sounds.
Whatever path you decide, there are a number of things you can do to reduce the risk associated with app development. I'd encourage you to read through my other answers I've submitted to similar questions here on Clarity and if you have questions that remain, I'd be happy to talk to you in a call.
I am someone who was in you position, I am technical but not a developer so I needed to find someone/company who could build what I needed and wanted.
I went to freelancer and odesk as well as tried to hire local. I also tried to find a partner.
I had terrible experience overseas as well as local.
Connect with your local tech startup group and see if they offer some services or have a company who they have used in the past.
I can tell you that just because someone in India, China, South America is cheaper then local does not mean it's the best decision.
Spend a little more if you need to.
Have your dev done within or close to the same timezone. You will save yourself from staying up until 3am to have meetings.
You can shoot me a msg if you have other questions.
An internal team will always know more about your organization than a mobile app agency will. The internal team is going to have a better understanding of organizational politics, brand voice, target audience, vision, goals, history, and competitors. These insights are ingrained in the DNA of your organization and can only be passed along to an agency through collaboration and time. The best app agencies will spend time learning about your customers, brand, goals, and vision for the mobile app. Faster Sign-Off & Approvals vs. It is not always the case, but approvals usually happen faster if everyone involved is in the same physical location. The entire organization’s schedule and calendar can be synced, making it easy to lock in time for reviews without the back and forth of finding a time that works best for everyone.
The biggest benefit of developing a mobile app in-house is having flexibility with revisions. The drawback to this situation is that you can spend countless hours tweaking, modifying, and second-guessing product decisions without making meaningful progress. When you work with an agency, there is typically a set budget, and with this budget come constraints. You are typically allowed a certain number of revisions and rounds of feedback at each step of the process. If you go beyond the set number of revisions, you will see an increase in the budget. In-house teams are on payroll, so there are no financial consequences if your team cannot decide. Most iOS app development and Android development agencies have teams of designers, developers, quality assurance engineers, and product managers who have worked together on multiple projects. Even if you already have one or two people on your team who have mobile experience, it’s likely the people you bring in to fill the gaps have never worked with your team before. An outsourced team likely specializes in mobile and will therefore have a greater understanding of the space than a generalist.
Ultimately, identifying whether you want to hire an app agency or build an internal mobile team comes down to cost and risk. If you are a larger company with thousands of employees, it might make sense to hire a mobile app agency to execute the entire project. If you are a small start-up that has yet to get funding or launch a product, you might want to bring in a few new founders to build the app with you. Some of the key roles you might want to look for include a product manager, app designer, iOS developer, quality assurance manager, user experience designer, user interface designer, API developer, Android developer and backend engineer. Hiring great talent is not easy. Research from Deloitte found that U. Sure, that’s just one role on the team, but to get quality talent you can expect to shell out a minimum salary of $40,000 and a maximum salary in the six figures. So, know that your expected costs to build an app all depend on the agency, their expertise and of course, the project. When you compare hiring an app agency to develop a mobile app vs. Outsourcing could be a more cost-effective and risk-free approach for a one-time build, while an internal team might make more sense long-term if you’re developing a scalable product that will be frequently updated. Luckily, you do not have to pick one or the other when it comes to launching your mobile app. In today’s world, many agencies offer a hybrid approach where certain tasks are outsourced while others are maintained internally.
Besides if you do have any questions give me a call: https://clarity.fm/joy-brotonath
Right now most of the mobile applications would need a significant development of backend side of the solution. So, if you implement backend in-house - do mobile in-house, if you can. Otherwise, you would always deal with issues in the interface between app and cloud. In terms of service provider - i can consult you what company you can choose in Ukraine, if this location looks too risky for you, Clutch is the best service to find proper service provider.