A real developer who loves his project would never outsource major aspects of the project. One might outsource the design, only because its incredibly difficult to create a great UI and have the know-how to code it as well.
One might outsource the slicing of a layout to CSS/HTML or something simple like that while dealing with IMPORTANT issues such as database architecture, setting up the server, etc.
To suggest that you want to concentrate on the "business aspect" simply means that you don't want to do the hard part. By outsourcing, the article states: "I have more time and I can spend this time for marketing and blogging". ... Right. Because blogging and marketing is so very tough?
The truth is that you USED to be a developer. It sounds like you've realized this and outsourced the project to an actual developer. If that's the case then you've made a wise choice.
In any case, best of luck to you.
Edit: It sounds as though I am belittling other people's jobs on a project. Sorry, I guess to some degree I am? I agree that I am a bit foolish to say that. I don't mean to create any type of hostility in this thread. (Regardless I will keep my full comment here so this thread makes sense.)
My main point is that the author refers to himself as a DEVELOPER. Therefore it does not make sense to me to outsource his own specialty.
>A real developer who loves his project would never outsource major aspects of the project.
Excuse me, but that's just the 'No True Scotsman' fallacy. You don't get to decide what makes someone a 'real developer.
>while dealing with IMPORTANT issues such as database architecture, setting up the server, etc.
The primary focus of the founder should be to get paying customers. These paying customers could care one iota about Codd's 12 Rules, 3NF, and Chef/Puppet configuration. If you truly believe that those things are more important than getting paying customers, then you, my friend, have a hobby, not a business. The IMPORTANT thing is "getting them to sign on the line which is dotted." Not mucking about at the CLI.
>To suggest that you want to concentrate on the "business aspect" simply means that you don't want to do the hard part. By outsourcing, the article states: "I have more time and I can spend this time for marketing and blogging". ... Right. Because blogging and marketing is so very tough?
Sigh. The common engineers fallacy of thinking that creating is enough. It is not. Steve Jobs was a salesman. And I can assure you that marketing is not as simple as throwing up a wordpress blog and a facebook page. It takes real work. Which I suspect you would know if you'd ever done it.
HN: You don't get rich by agonizing over data structures and algorithms (unless you're Google). You get rich by leveraging resources so the multiplier effect works to your advantage. If the most efficient path to getting paying customers is to outsource, then do so. Kudos to OP.
It's like Steve Jobs saying he is a great salesman but wants to outsource selling his vision. It makes no sense to me.
Therefore that is why I wrote what I wrote.
>author of this post refers to himself as a developer.
It doesn't matter what he calls himself. If you can pass FizzBUzz, you're a developer. Maybe not a John Carmack, but a developer nonetheless.
There is no sacred law written on tablets of stone and handed down from volcanic mountains that states "Developers who found startups must code or face eternal damnation." Rather, there is a holy precept that does state "The founder (whether a dev, UX guy or bizev guy) shall find the most efficient path to profitability, or be condemned to the lake of failure."
So if a founder is from a UX background, but in his particular context, it is more efficient (faster to profitability) for him to outsource the UX and read 'MBA for Dummies', I would argue that that is the rational course of action.
Again: Your priorities as a founder are not whatever background you are from. Your priority (and you must accept it :)) is to become profitable. When that is achieved, THEN you can go up the Maslow Heirarchy of business-actualization.
Or to put this differently. If I was working for some larger company as a developer, and I went to management and said "I have decided that I want to quit development and work in marketing", they would turn me down. And rightly so, because A) it would be bad for the company to lose my development skills, and B) there is no reason to hire me as a marketing person when there's many more out there far more qualified and experienced in marketing.
So...if this would be quite clearly the correct course of action if I worked for someone else, why would I not follow the same thought process for my own company?
I am not saying MBA skills are not valuable. But what is more important is ability to write pithy blogs, write tons of emails to your potential customers, investors and do lot of other routine activities to keep your startup afloat. None of this requires MBA as such in the initial days.
Your passion, reading some of the best blogs out there on specific topics is more than enough provided you take all the advice as just that 'advice' and tweak it to apply as per your situation & needs.
Exactly my feelings.
I agree with the rest of your comment, to an extent, but I strongly disagree with this line.
The act of blogging is easy, sure - it's just typing. The act of marketing, or at least some subset of it, can be easy, I'm sure. Doing these things effectively, so that they actually drive business, is hard.
Dismissing blogging and marketing by sarcastically saying they're "so very tough" is the same sort of bullshit that we get pissed off about when people say "I have this great idea for a website/app, all I need is a coder!"
You're dismissing an entire profession without regard for the hard work that those in that profession put into their jobs.
Though in order of importance, I feel it's behind the actual codebase. For the author to suggest that it's okay to outsource development to have more time doing marketing and blogging when he refer's to himself as a developer is just plain ridiculous.
If you are "doing it right", your time should be worth far more than a programmer's salary.
I run several websites/businesses. At one point I was doing all the coding, marketing, blogging, customer support, etc... I was crazy busy. Over time I've managed to hire for most of this, so I can work on bigger picture, managing what is to be done, architecture issues, and a lot more.
Every few months I try to reasses what things I'm doing that are not worth my time. Programming was one of the first to go. It's so incredibly time consuming and I can hire
someone better than me.
And yes, blogging and marketing is very tough. User acquisition is tough. A good on-boarding process is very tough. User experience is tough.
a-fucking men to that!
Secondly, I'll posit that a "true developer" (whatever that means) certainly might outsource "major aspects of his project," if he's trying to make a successful business from his project, and he needs to dedicate bandwidth to other areas of the business. Creating a business is more than just writing code.
As the old saying goes "The scarcest resource in a startup is founder bandwidth." If you can amplify your bandwidth by doing some tactical outsourcing, then you do it, as far as I'm concerned.
In fact, this post got some gears turning in my own head, and has me considering whether or not Fogbeam Labs could justify outsourcing some development work, to help speed things along. All three of the founders still work dayjobs at the moment, so a little additional development help could actually be a good thing. I'm not saying we will do it, just that I'm seriously considering the possibility for the first time.
He's basically said "I have skill set X, which I'm trained in and have been honing for years. For my company, I need skill sets X and Y. So I'll do Y and find someone else to do X."
No matter what X and Y are, that's just the wrong way to solve that problem. The key issue in this case being that he is assuming the marketing/user acquisition stuff is so easy that he can just pick it up on the fly with no prior experience.
I don't know, If I can't do Y how am I going to hire an A player at the Y game. Being good at X means I can evaluate others in skill X.
You do X, hire Y - You have one skilled person, one question mark.
You do Y, hire X - You have one unskilled person, one question mark.
Seems pretty simple to me that the first is better. I suppose that you could make the argument that Y may be easy to pick up, but if that's the case it should be all the easier to just hire someone else with a proven track record.