TIPS- Overseas Developers & Free Stuff
Overseas Developers- Like many start-ups, we went the overseas developer route. We felt we had to due to cost. We lost at least a year, if not more, on our development as a result. If you are going to go down the overseas developer route, and this is also applicable to US developers, make sure your Scope of Work includes concrete detailed deliverables. There is simply too much wiggle room for the developers to claim completion when they in fact have not delivered with just an SOW. In our case, we never even got our code, so we did not make final payment. Months later everything is resolved, but the work is useless as we had already moved on.
Remember stoppage is death to a start up, so bear that in mind and regardless of how you feel about it, hire a lawyer to review the contract. (Make sure to stipulate that all work is done on your GitHub account or similar, that way you can at least see the code and see what is being done.). That way at the very least if they do not do the work you can deny payment legally.
Regardless of this set back, we are incredibly pleased with the team we do have an the incredible progress we have made in a very short time. We are now working on how to scale. Our costs are higher but not unreasonably so, and production is through the roof. For us at least, we prefer having a product than saving on bad code and costly delays. That is the real choice between US developers and foreign developers, not the cost itself. Whatever route you decide on, be prepared to have a back-up plan to avoid being held hostage.
Free Stuff- If you do not know, many of our brethren that have “made it”often offer us smaller start-ups free or heavily discounted prices. I think that is very cool. We are in an accelerator so that does help and we are pushing for our accelerator to contact AWS and get us some free credits. AWS offers substantial credits. Likewise most of the software we use for Marketing, APP DEV, CRM, etc. offer free services for startups. It is wise to be incorporated to show you are a company and how old you are and it helps if you are in an accelerator, but a lot of our free/ discounted services were available by simply asking and proving we are legit.
Back to the overseas developer, use that discounted / free services to see if you can “reach” and get yourself a decent Dev team based here at home or in Europe (still use a lawyer, set deliverables etc)