Great guest post by John MacHale Consulting Director NashTech Ireland
Constant advancements in tech, combined with smart and enthused VC investors make the tech start-up scene captivating to behold.
Companies burst into formation in a flurry of media excitement, contention and awe. Airbnb, Uber and Snapchat are just some of the most prolific we’ve seen in this space; businesses that have broken through the start-up barrier to become successful and sustainable.
There’s a risk a start-up that burns twice as bright will burn half as long. Fast growth, limited resources, restrictive cash flow and a constant barrage of new challenges can defeat even the most weathered entrepreneur.
Is outsourcing a viable option to help ambitious entrepreneurs thrive here? A solution that removes risk while promoting alacrity? Taking lessons from Eric Reis’s ‘The Lean Start-Up’, let’s look at how support from such a company can help in real terms throughout the start-up journey.
Your Minimal Viable Product
Should this product be built?
An experienced delivery partner, separate to the organisation, can act as a mirror to challenge the scope of an MVP. Strategic facilitations run by these outsourced partners can empower start-up teams to effectively envision a product, eliminate uncertainty and accelerate the scoping process.
If chosen wisely, this same partner can provide a workforce primed to rapidly build your MVP once the proposition is refined. The upshot here is access to a skilled and nimble workforce available on demand. No risky employment overheads needed.
Smoke and mirrors or real success?
Once built and out in the market place, entrepreneurs and investors alike demand, ‘am I successful?’. While customer sign ups and likes on social media may look good, without detailed data the value of your fledgling MVP is hard to gauge. Understanding how these reporting needs differ from established enterprises is key to choosing the right delivery partner.
Reis would advise you to exploit Innovation Accounting, an approach that works with granular metrics relevant to a start-up, rather than traditional accountancy measures of success.
Innovation accounting asks, for example, ‘how many users paid for something’ rather than ‘how big is your database’ – an arbitrary measure of success at the best of times but even more so when you’re growing.
A wised-up lean-savvy virtual workforce can build these granular metrics into your MVP, giving you access to the numbers that count from day one. Numbers that can bolster an investment deck, loan application and board report.
Pivot or persevere?
With accurate and timely data, you’re able to decide if you should pivot or persevere. Should the testing of your MVP determine a change in tack is required, spinning quickly on your heels is essential. Had you hired a team to build your product, there’s a chance you may no longer employ the correct workforce. Do they have the skills required to move your product in an entirely new direction?
An outsourced team keeps the tap of talent turned on. You’ll be able to access skills on demand rather than on the books. With such resource to hand a start-up can be truly lean, remaining focused on the essentialism of what they are creating.
And should your MVP be proving to be bang on the money, it’s now time to persevere and scale. A virtual, flexible workforce will be ready to grow with you.
With your MVP now flying with adult feathers, it’s time to take over the world. But global expansion when you’re based in one country can be a challenge geographically and culturally.
Partner with the right global delivery organisation and you’ll access cultural insights from multiple regions. Furthermore, a global organisation that’s built your solution in the cloud is already geographically independent, giving you unrestricted logistical opportunities.
Outsourced resource for your lean start-up
The right outsourced resource partner can power a business throughout the growth cycle. With local presence in Ireland, the UK and main other regions, NashTech supports lean start-ups with software development, digital advisory, and business process outsourcing.