In today’s digital world, you don’t always need to have all your expertise in-house. That includes app development. Some extremely successful apps have been developed and launched using a remote team.
Sometimes, the founder of a startup has an awesome idea but lacks the technological background to code an app themselves. Sometimes it’s in order to save money – paying for an in-house developer can be expensive for startups on a shoestring budget, and a remote app developer can get the job done just as efficiently at a fraction of the cost.
With internet and smartphones making the world a smaller place, insisting on having your entire team in the same physical location is oddly restrictive. Think outside the box and hunt down the best app development talent you can find without the limitations of geography. If you still need to be inspired to make the leap to employing remote talent, here are five successful companies that did exactly that.
Founder Alex Turnbull was certain he was onto a big thing with his vision of an online helpdesk, but he didn’t have the expertise to build the first Groove app. He found a remote development team not too far from his home to build the initial iteration of Groove. Today, GrooveHQ is used by over 8,000 businesses for cloud-based customer service.
One of the world’s most popular tools for helping remote teams collaborate was itself developed remotely. Slack’s cofounders didn’t have the funds to hire an in-house app developer to create their MVP. The first iteration of Slack’s mobile app – and its website and logo too – were outsourced. Slack’s success is undeniable – more than one million users connect on Slack every day to discuss work and fun.
Three remote developers in Estonia created the backend code for the first iteration of Skype, the cloud-based app for conversation and messaging. Microsoft bought Skype for $8.5 billion in 2011 and it’s still one of the most popular tools for communication between remote workers.
The original Whatsapp communication and messaging app was built by a remote team of developers in Russia. The founders couldn’t afford a full-time in-house development team, so they found the talent they needed to build their first app remotely. Facebook bought Whatsapp for $19 billion in 2014
Without enough money or backers to fund an in-house development team, Klout founder Joe Fernandez flew to Singapore. There, he hired remote workers to build the first Klout app and website. Klout became a huge success and was bought by Lithium Technologies in 2014 for over $200 million.
Of course, when you outsource app development you do have to deal with other issues, including the challenge of paying remote vendors. Making freelancer and supplier payments can be costly and time-consuming, with bank transfers taking many days to clear and charging high fees. Fortunately, there are other ways to make international payments such as Payoneer’s online payment solution that delivers low-cost, fast, cross-border transfers.