Startup MVP Development in 2021: To Outsource or to Build In-House?

MVP development services for startups

Startups are vibrant ecosystems where game-changing ideas are born. While some don’t make the cut, others go on to solve problems for large sections of the population, disrupt industries, and much more.

This process is much easier and cost-effective when the founders themselves boast significant industry knowledge and technical prowess. However, more often than not, people with great ideas fall short when it comes to the skillsets needed to build a minimum viable product (MVP). Sometimes, there aren’t enough people to get to an MVP. 

After all, it’s the MVP that validates your idea and attracts funding. However, most startups have high ambitions but struggle to find the resources to make things happen. But the good news is that we have some options.

Sometimes co-founders start working on the project on their own, offer equity to get help, and take their time to bring their idea to life. Others engage a third-party application development partner to try and get it right the first time.

What is In-House MVP Development?

In-House MVP development is precisely what it sounds like. You must recruit top tech talent and do everything from coordinating and managing the whole process. Of course, it won’t happen overnight because recruiting top tech takes time and a monumental effort.

To get it right, you must find a balance between technical capabilities, personality, and a shared vision. You’re in charge of putting together a team (for the long-term) that ensures product success. You’ll often find such teams in companies that scaled their software product to maintain stability and relevance.

What is Outsourced MVP Development?

Outsourcing MVP development describes hiring an established team of professionals from another company to build your product. In this scenario, you’re essentially commissioning your business idea to a group of professionals who can bring it to life.

Tech partnerships help startups accelerate MVP development. They can also continue to work for you once the product scales. You’ll get immediate access to developers, project managers, QA specialists, scrum masters, UI/UX designers, and much more. When you work with an experienced group of software engineers, you’ll benefit from their startup experiences. 

What’s the best approach for your business? How do you decide between outsourcing development or building in-house?

MVP Development: In-House vs. Outsourcing

As alluded to above, your choice really comes down to available skills and resources. Sometimes, even if the startup is founded by top tech talent, it may not be enough to keep the momentum going. 

As timing is everything, you must build that MVP as quickly as possible. So, take a good hard look at your end goal and yourselves. Do you have what it takes to build an MVP on time and on a budget? Do you have enough software engineers to code it?

In-House MVP Development: Pros & Cons  


  • Complete control
  • Cultural fit
  • Direct communication


  • High costs
  • Risk of high employee turnover
  • Local tech talent shortage

Outsourcing MVP Development: Pros & Cons  


  • Cost-effectiveness
  • End-to-end service
  • Immediate access to top tech talent
  • Rapid project delivery
  • Scalability


  • Time difference
  • Cultural differences (especially if you’re not on the same continent)
  • Security risks (make sure the law protects your trade secrets)

Before deciding on in-house or outsourced MVP development, you must have an in-depth understanding of the development process. This approach will also help founders figure out the direction they would like to pursue with their digital product.

You can choose between different methodologies like LEAN, Agile, and more. When you have a deep understanding of the various aspects of application development and the steps invoiced, you’ll know how to manage your resources efficiently. You’ll also be better prepared for the potential challenges that lie ahead.

When to Choose In-House MVP Development

If you’re an entrepreneur with programming skills, it might be a good idea to do it yourself. You might even be able to get some of your coder friends onboard to help you build an MVP. This approach will be quick and cost-effective

But what if your idea demands some deep designing and coding knowledge? Do you have what it takes to bring your vision to life? If not, you should hire an in-house team to build it.

Unfortunately, this isn’t always easy. For example, you’ll need a lot of money and time to find the right people to work on your MVP. Whether it’s a simple mobile app or a website, finding top tech talent has remained a significant challenge for many years now.

Often, this is the point in the process when startups seriously start thinking about outsourcing. After all, with all things considered, tech partnerships for effective MVP development and budget optimization is a smart move.

What Should You Know Before Outsourcing Your MVP Development?

Before committing to a third-party software development partner, you must first ensure that they have the necessary tech talent to build your product. You should also look into their reviews, use cases, and (of course) how they work.

Most startups have a lot of luck with working with a bespoke development consultancy because of immediate access to domain experts. With expert knowledge, skills, and experience on your side, your business can quickly innovate and scale. 

As such, it’s crucial to partner with a company that handles all aspects of the process, including development, quality assurance testing, security, deployment, scaling, support, and maintenance.

Having experts on board from the beginning also helps founders identify potential issues early on. Whenever you need advice, you can also turn to them and learn from their extensive experience.

To overcome the disadvantages related to outsourcing, choose a development partner that’s offshore but nearby. This approach ensures that there aren’t any significant time differences. 

When it comes to intellectual property and security risks, it’s best to choose a partner with a similar legal system. For example, you outsource your MVP development to Ukraine, you’ll benefit from geological proximity, and your project will be protected by the laws that govern the EU. You’ll stand a better chance of enjoying cultural similarities, and of course, affordability.

Ukraine boasts a highly successful science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) program. As most graduates end up working for companies across Western Europe and North America, they speak English and are aware of cultural nuances, and so on.

If you already have a few people in-house working on your MVP, you can easily extend your team with remote software engineers. In this scenario, you can leverage the benefits of both approaches to build a successful MVP.

While making this decision is certainly not easy, it’s the first and probably the most important decision you’ll make in your startup career. So, take your time, do your research, talk to potential candidates, and make the right decision for your MVP.

Do you need help building an MVP? We can help you navigate the world of outsourcing application development, team extension, and more. Schedule a commitment-free consultation now!

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