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Should I Use A Dev Shop? - Michael Seibel | - At Up-Tube.com

Should I Use a Dev Shop? - Michael Seibel 2 days ago   06:20

Y Combinator
Michael Seibel on using development shops to build your startup.

Michael is CEO and a Partner at YC. He was the co-founder and CEO of Justin.tv and Socialcam.


Learn more about YC and apply for funding here: https://www.ycombinator.com/apply/

Comments 55 Comments

Adeel Khan
Having gone the route of outsourcing to dev shops on more than one occasion, I agree with all the points that have been raised.
Pawel Solyga
Really good tips. If you happen to work with a dev shop as an early stage company here are some thoughts on what to take into account. Thanks for the inspiration Michael! https://up-tube.com/upvideo/DQ-qa5Mp2u8 https://www.tooploox.com/blog/how-to-choose-a-dev-shop
vipul jha
But Sir, when we recruit a technical co-founder , we also lose a hefty percentage of equity too .
Is this a good idea as first outsource the technical work to build a MVP by spending money, either then raise capital or generate revenue and then recruit Developers on salary to expand the technical work ?
What are your thoughts Sir ?
David Shamiri
The first freelancer company I used was horrible, the second is much better - pay 25% more than average bid price if you are using freelancers. Play in mid end level priced dev shops and pick one that is pricing themselves at a bit of a premium. Keep them on a short leash but be fair - set up smaller projects and split the work to see if they are doing it right bit by bit - always have second and third option if they are not delivering, dont wait months until you see results, dont get strung along
David Shamiri
Michael Seibel is great. Thank you for the information
The Unassuming Startup
Generally agree, but if you're thinking of going the dev shop route, here's another view: https://up-tube.com/upvideo/zxcyVB0eMIR
Juan Pablo Miron Soler
Excellent points! Thanks for sharing!
Shivam Saini
um t
I would prefer a technical cofounder. But I jusy don't have the connections. So iwas hoping to outsource toa dev shop to use something to helps potential echnicla founder on my vision
Sagar Jaid
Agree Michael, Very nice series keep posting 🙂

We need suggestions for experts like you!
Again thank you for amazing content 💗
Great advice...
Control and motivation to iterate on the fly are big issues
Hasnain Haider
Definitely agree. Failing at startups myself and now running a dev shop I think the best thing for you to do if you're not technical and dont have alot of money is to hire a technical co founder, come up with an implementation and then hire freelance or remote employees under the technical co founder. The technical co founder should always be aware of everything thats happening with the tech and so if in the future you decide to move development inhouse its not a disruptive change..

NEVER Start a company without at least 1 technical employee or founder.

And if you're starting a billion dollar company, hire inhouse from the start.
Artur Maklyarevsky
The investor argument is valid but only if your end goal is going the VC route. Most startups should NOT do this. But that is a deep strategical and spiritual issue you need to research and come to terms with.

Yes.. finding a proven technical cofounder is IDEAL but sadly is also incredibly hard, takes a lot of time, and may not end up successful for a plethora of reasons. ( most startups fail due to cofounder misgivings )

But the world is not going to wait.
What is the most important thing right NOW is YOUR focus and YOUR Passion, YOUR Vision.

Use that today as it is the only thing of value today that has any potential.

Your cofounder hunting time is better spent iterating on “product market fit” ( before any code is written ) aka do things that dont scale.

THEN find a proven shop with a *track record...and even better, a shop who’s eaten their own dog food and has launched their own product(s). Being near-shore ( with time overlap ) is also worth a ton during the early iterative phases.

We can make your vision a reality:

Need proof?

We just launched: https://VisualSitemaps.com

MVP was initially built by design2dev, which enabled the growth of a solid beta-tester base which later attracted a seasoned successful CTO coFounder.
Arsen Kazibekov
Absolutely right!
Brian Herrera
I’m a technical founder and I built the core part of our product offering, but for “nuts and bolts” I outsourced. I spent more and it took more time, but I was pleased with the work. but the thing that killed us was it was impossible for me to iterate on.
Anton Koval
Nice insight however I think this really depends as you can also hire a wrong CTO who may sink your own company. Everyone has to make this decision for himself and do very good due diligence in both cases. Many founders just jump on the wagon without getting in to details thinking that some kind of magic will do the job.

Also what is weird for me is that Y combinator invested in Gigster, Youteam, Pilot which are in essence dev shops or platform for dev shops after you clean all storytelling fluf, so its not like they are totally against it.

Full disclosure I am part of dev shop industry:)
I'd argue that going Dev shop is even harder: it can be much more expensive as you never fully know the underlying complexity. also trust is a big one. Besides finding a tech co-founder another route is to upskill oneself in programming - it will take a lot of time to get it right, but might just be worth a shot if the other options aren't available. Just a thought
David Zernik
Interesting point. I'd argue that there are people who are not "fully" technical...aka, can do either UI, front-end or back-end, but maybe not all 3, but most importantly they know what they don't know. These people might be able to outsource dev in a smart way, because they know specifically what needs to be built, the stack to use, and the estimated time to build it a specific task or feature. What do you think?
That's like SEO and marketing agencies Lol.
At the 5:00 mark you said that by recruiting a technical co-founder, you end up spending far less than if you were to recruit a dev shop. Is this because you are assuming the technical co-founder is doing all the coding work in leu of the dev shop? If so, I am not sure how realistic this is.
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Should I Use a Dev Shop? - Michael Seibel 2 days ago   05:48

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