This is an anonymous guest post by a good friend of mine who recently outsourced a very large web project to a team of developers in India . Throughout the entire project I’ve been thoroughly fascinated by the concept. He was kind enough to take time out of his busy day to write a post about his experience.
For the last year I’ve been working on developing a fairly large scale web project, not an Amazon, Twitter, Facebook or eBay caliber project but with good planning and a little luck it could conceivably attract any of those web all-stars to acquire our site down the road. I’ve known Adam for several years and we’ve become friends and a good source of advice and guidance for each other in entrepreneurial decisions and experiences. Please understand it is very difficult to sum up an 11 month project like this in a single blog post, but I will do my best to hit key points at the sacrifice of some key data.
The key data I will not include is who I am, what my site is, who I used for outsourcing and who my business partner is. I am doing it this way for a few reasons but primarily to keep things simpler for this post and we have some potential partnerships we are working on and we will be making significant changes to our site if they go through so we don’t want to push or create any extra buzz at the moment. Additionally I will be painfully honest at times and do not want to insult or hurt anyone’s feelings.
It seems obvious, even foolish, to mention this but the first thing you need is a viable project to outsource, in my case it was the programming for a fairly complicated website. Protect yourself, but remember NDA’s and CA’s are only as good as the people signing them, if someone is going to breach the contract are you prepared to take legal action against them? Chances are slim that you are, so be careful who you approach when obtaining estimates. Don’t allow this to scare you away from contacting programmers for estimates, just don’t broadcast the details of your project to the world blindly. I hope if you are planning a project like this you bring something to the equation that no one else can, this makes you a valuable asset to the project – also remember that programmers as a whole are not entrepreneurs and have little desire in stealing your business or business model.
Shop wisely, we ended up using a larger firm in India for our programming, but we contacted various companies from all over the globe and our estimates reflected this. Our highest bids came from US based companies(which we’ve come to find they typically outsource the programming themselves and function as a liaison between the companies abroad and you the client and charge you a premium for this service). There was over a $100k spread from our highest to lowest bid. There are many things to consider when looking at bids.
Look at other work they’ve done, make sure it doesn’t all look and feel the same. Contact webmasters and ask them about their experience.