Today I’m talking with Martin Forsling, the CEO of Bontouch – a development company we wrote about a few months back. We caught up for a brief chat regarding outsourcing development and their experiences in doing so.
Tell us about Bontouch
We at Bontouch specialized as an outsourced product developer in the mobile space. Our clients range from large corporations (like SEB where we have built their entire mobile portfolio both for corporations to private individuals) to several startups companies as well. One good example of a client is Whitelines. Their innovation is writing paper with white lines instead of dark ones, and we have helped them to take their innovation to a whole new level with Whitelines Link. It is an integrated solution with a new type of paper (with smart markers) and a free app that lets you scan your notes super-easy.
So, given your experiences, what is your opinion of outsourcing development?
One area I think is interesting and very important to consider when outsourcing development as a startup, is in which way you get the developers motivated. What incentives do you offer them? How can your project become more interesting than the other clients? How can you get them to walk the extra mile for you? As a startup it is unlikely that you can pay as much as other companies, and the longterm benefits for the developer might be less compared to working for an already large client. In my experience, the best currency you have is to allow the developer to be part of the project mentally. The developers do not need to be owners of the project, it is more important that they are allowed to feel ownership of the product they are part of creating.
The key success factor is to allow the outsourced product development team to become part of the vision. They must feel ownership, live and breath the product. Otherwise it is just another project. When our clients win prizes, we win prizes. When our clients get rejections our developers stay up throughout the night to get it fixed. Not because they have too, but because the project is their baby too.