When outsourcing work, demand to see ‘visible work’

What is the secret to getting things done?

“The essence of doing anything is making progress. You need visible work,” said Amol Sarva who suggested a radical, no-nonsense approach to outsourcing work. The co-founder of Virgin Mobile USA and Peek is developing a new cognitive enhancement technology called Halo Neuro and an application for better discussions called Knotable.

Sarva suggests testing developers with a specific five-hour assignment and making sure they deliver. For him, it could be as simple as creating a log-in page and if he can deliver in time, then you’ve got yourself a developer.
He is not too concerned if you have unplanned work, indicating how your work will keep changing or iterating anyway. Your customer development here could be even more expensive than offshore work.

“(Your) target markets’ time is more expensive than developers’ time,” he said.

The important thing is to have one task done before you give your developer another assignment. He admits to going through so many developers at Elance, his preferred platform for locating developers.
Sarva also recommends the following tools and resources when dealing with developers: Github, the Meteor framework, because it also provides a hosting environment for you to see work and TestFlight, so you can test live.

Looking for developers in New York is definitely not easy, not when every developer wants his or her own startup. So if you’re outsourcing, Sarva reminded us to “hire and fire fast and deploy in a live environment.”
Sarva doesn’t advice outsourcing work to designers. “They are prima donnas compared to engineers.” He spoke at a Startup Boost event last September 10. (DC)

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Dennis Clemente

Shuttling between New York and other US cities, Dennis writes about tech meetups when he's not too busy working as a Web Developer/Producer + UX Writer and Digital Marketer.

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