Episode 18: Outsourcing Product Development w/Dave Rodenbaugh

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This episode of Chasing Product features Dave Rodenbaugh, giving a master class on outsourcing product development.

Bootstrapped Product Talking Points

  • What things you must *not* outsource if you want to be successful
  • How to evaluate developers if you have no tech skills
  • Why cultural values matter in your hires
  • The real benefits of outsourcing

Dave-related links:

SupportVine – Customer Support Software for Help Desks
How To Buy a Website – Insider eBook to buying websites on Flippa
Business Directory plugin for WP – Dave’s product for WordPress websites
Classifieds WP plugin – another product for WordPress sites
@asksupportvine – Twitter account for SupportVine
@daverodenbaugh – Twitter account for Dave

Show-related links:

Trello – Dave loves this for tracking projects
Google Docs
oDesk – the primary outsourcing tool mentioned in this episode
SmallSpec – Painless Functional Specs, Christopher’s Saas app-in-development
Cogeian Systems – Christopher’s consulting shop

Dave has been around.  He has done everything from writing eBooks to completely outsourcing product development.  In our talk he’ll share how he got started in product.  We talk about how his technical inclinations helped and hurt him, and what role self-evaluation served in his product development.

We also talk about nuts-and-bolts tactics for outsourcing product development labor on oDesk. There are a lot of ways to do it wrong, and we talk about some of the ways to do it right.  Starting with on-boarding a new hire, we cover test projects, real development, managing a remote team, and more.

A related update on SmallSpec: rather than do development in-house, I recently decided that outsourcing product development would be the way to go.  There are a number of benefits to doing so, and Dave & I discuss a number of strategies to do it right.  I have experience with outsourced labor in my own consulting practice, but product development requires a different set of sensibilities.

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