- on Mon 28 January 2013
The OP makes 3 terrible points. Let’s address them one by one:
All Indian/Pakistani/Egyptian etc. programmers are bad. All US programmers are great.
"Developing an MVP with two qualified engineers working full time should cost around $5,000 per week and take about three months (these numbers varied widely based on the complexity of the idea. The values I cite here are conservative)."
The OP implies that quality==cost. His billing is consistent with two “qualified” (love the word) engineers living in NYC (as the OP). However, there are plenty of brilliant programmers who live in India/Pakistan/Egypt whose cost of living index makes them more cost competitive. Some of these programmers are terrible. Some are awesome. I dare say, just like in NYC? :)
By implying cost==quality, the OP suggests that the very difference in price implies a difference in quality, and as price==geography (highly correlated to cost of living index), he imbues all high-cost geographies with high quality, and all low-cost geographies with low quality. I don’t want to question the OP’s logical capabilities here, as he is obviously billing at a higher rate than the rest of us in low-cost geographies. ;-)
Do all Indian/Pakistani/Egyptian/etc. hackers deserve to be painted with the same brush?
See above point. OP's fallacious logic also has a racist undertone. OP could have taken a more measured tone, backed by evidence, as to why certain outsourcing experiences are more problematic than others and how this correlates with geography. As it stands, he comes off sounding like a redneck.
$60,000 to launch an MVP is a bad idea, period.
MVP is a flexible definition, but no reasonable definition of the term should take 3 months and $60,000 – except in the rarest of circumstances. In most cases, founders are better off simplifying their MVP to something that they can quickly launch with, acquire some early users, offer a basic value proposition, and track some metrics. Based on traction, they can build out further.
Dropbox and Facebook launched with simpler MVPs so perhaps the OP better bone up on startup methodologies before dishing out advice better suited to stuffing his consulting revenues than serving the market need of non-technical founders starting their businesses.
PS: The OP does make a good point – “This visceral optimism compels people to go with their desires even when experienced people strongly advise otherwise.” Unfortunately, the OP is clearly not one of those “experienced” people whose advice you should be following.
Full disclosure/plug: I am the CEO of LaunchYard.com, one of those companies that the OP illogically – and yes, I’m going to say this – racially dismisses. Given the hard work that my team, my customers (several of them in NYC) and I are putting in, the OP’s article is personally hurtful.