VCs will tell you: "Don't do it"

These founders didn't listen and outsourced their engineering. Now they are worth billions.

10 stories that will surprise you:
1/ Calendly is a well-known but my favorite story.

In 2013, @TopeAwotona outsourced the MVP to Ukrainian developers.

He stayed with the team (throughout the revolution and the start of the war in 2014), and they shipped.

• 10M users
• $100M/yr rev
• $3B valuation
2/ Skype

The founders hired Estonian engineers to build the video and voice tool.

At its peak, it had 300M+ users.

In 2011, Microsoft acquired it for $8.5B
3/ Alibaba

Jack Ma, the co-founder, outsourced the site development to US engineers because he couldn’t find skilled developers in China.

Today, it:
• has ~47% of the eCommerce market share in China
• makes $120B+/yr in revenue
• has a market cap of $220B+
4/ WhatsApp

The founders hired a development team in Eastern Europe to build the first version of the messaging app.

The reason was to minimize the app development costs.

In 2014, Facebook bought it for $19.3B

Today, it has 2B+ users in 180+ countries.
5/ Uber

Uber started its operations as an Excel sheet.

When @travisk decided to build the 1st version of the app, he hired a dev shop instead of an in-house eng team.

Today, it's worth $60B+ and makes $31B+/yr in revenue.
6/ Upwork

ODesk and Elance merged to form Upwork.

To build the initial version of Upwork, the founders hired freelancers from their own marketplace. Today, it makes $600M+yr in rev

We also hire freelancers from our own marketplace ;) Should start making $600m/year in no time
7/ Basecamp

Initially, the founders outsourced the app's development to remote engineers.

Today, 75K+ businesses use the project management tool.

Revenue: $150M/yr
8/ Remember Klout?

The founder Joe Fernandez hired a Singaporean dev team to build the MVP.

It allowed him to bootstrap for a long time.
9/ MySQL

Initially, the management team outsourced the development of open-source software.

Today, it's run on millions of servers and used by Amazon, NASA, PayPal, and other billion-dollar companies.
10/ Expensify

Founders partnered with a software team to build the back-end infrastructure.

It allowed the team to focus on the front-end tech and grow the business.

Revenue: $169M+/yr
That's the wrap

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