Chess agenciesWould you hire someone to learn to play chess for you?
Would you hire someone to learn to play chess for you?
Of course not. What an absurd question.
Yet this is essentially what many companies do, without realizing it, when they outsource their product development.
When your company is building a novel product, the most valuable output is not the product. It’s knowledge that’s learned about the product, about the market, about customers needs, etc.
Product development, and by extension, most software development, is at its core, a learning activity. The hard part of software creation isn’t typing. It’s thinking about what to type.
If what your company needs is the knowledge to “play chess” (develop, build, improve, and iterate on a product), it would be foolish to outsource that activity.
If what your company needs is literally the finished product, then it can make sense to outsource. Outsource the development of your ticket tracker, by all means. But don’t outsource the development of your core product.
I’ve helped a number of companies rescue outsourced chess knowledge, by bringing that learning back in-house. Let me know if I can help you with the same.
I'd never have thought of this during a design phase.
When to outsource
I've found myself recently questioning the age-old advice of "build it if it's central to your business."
Launch before you're ready
What learning are you missing out on by waiting until your product or feature is more perfect?
Improve your software delivery