From Flat to Vertical

The world is increasingly vertical for entrepreneurs. For well over a decade, companies in North America and elsewhere have been outsourcing parts of their software development around the world in search of the cost efficiencies that will allow them to stay competitive in tough economies and very competitive marketplaces.

For big companies who need to outsource the maintenance of legacy software, software support, or well defined software projects, this strategy can work very well and save a lot. But outsourcing of any kind carries a lot of risk. Large geographic, cultural, and time zone differences all carry a significant communication risk that can doom a project.

In traditionally managed projects, a company will mitigate this risk by providing heavily documented requirements to the outsourced team so they know exactly what to build.

Entrepreneurs have extra risks when outsourcing

But for an entrepreneur, this will not cut it. A startup or small company is way too fluid to build heavy requirements documents. Entrepreneurs need more dynamic software teams that can be flexible on scope and the implementation plan so that as the product evolves, the development and design team can evolve with it.

That sort of highly collaborative and agile team usually carries a top tier hourly rate with it though. Remember, we’re talking about entrepreneurs here – they don’t have a big budget yet! So what are they to do?

Going vertical is the best of both worlds

As we approach the end of 2012’s Global Entrepreneurship Week, it’s worth pointing out that the world is no longer flat. It’s increasingly vertical, with people realizing that they can overcome some of the risks of outsourced development by going nearshore. That simply means outsourcing the work to a nearby country so that you have fewer timezone hassles to deal with.

It’s more than timezones for startups

For entrepreneurs though, nearshoring is much more powerful than just getting extra sleep at night because you are not skyping with the other side of the world.

Nearshoring means that with the right team, in the right team zone, and with the right entrepreneurial mindset, your startup can now get a lot of the cost benefits of outsourcing but without as much risk.

The nearshoring for startups niche

This is basically what we do at AgilityFeat. We have built a team of highly skilled developers and designers, with excellent English and the mindset of an entrepreneur. We’re happy to review your requirements document, but that’s not really what we’re after. We want to collaborate with you on your ideas and help you make them better. We can build the really slick web and mobile apps that you need, but at a fraction of the price. And you never have to worry if we are “real” or if we understand what you want, because we’ll be with you every day on skype and in constant communication.

The other great advantage of nearshoring is that travel is so much easier. Our team is located in Costa Rica, which is a wonderful place to travel to. From the US, flights are usually anywhere from $400 to $800, so they are quite reasonable and not very long. You can fly down to meet our team, work for a few days in San Jose, and then visit any of Costa Rica’s beautiful beaches or tropical forests.

Join AgilityFeat’s Costa Rican Code Commandos on the beach and learn more about best practices in building your startup the lean way!

Join us in Costa Rica!

We’ve even got a great opportunity for you to come down and meet with us in January in Tamarindo, Costa Rica. We are hosting a 3 day workshop for startups called DareToBeLean, which will feature noted startup author Patrick Vlaskovits. I promise you it’s the best software workshop you’ll ever go to with sand in your toes!

So during this global entrepreneur week, consider getting some sun and making your world more vertical. We look forward to seeing you in Costa Rica!