Niall Kennedy’s Weblog has posted an audio record and transcript of Mark Fletcher at SDForum Startup SIG. His talk and the Q&A section has a lot of information regarding startups, its marketing, its design and money raising aspects. Mark had gone through two startup companies, so he has a set of very practical information. One of the pretty useful parts is on outsouring:

… Um, and outsource. So, continuing on my theme of being a cheap bastard, there are great outsourcing solutions these days. Well, great is an interesting, I guess, probably not the best word, but there are companies like eLance and Rent-A-Coder where you can go and you can put things up for bid, and often get things done for very cheap. And it’s not just programming; it can be also graphics, it can be copy-editing. We translated Bloglines — a year and a half ago we internationalized it — we localized it into six different languages, and I put that up for bid on eLance because I barely know English, and we got the whole site translated into six different languages for about $4000. And didn’t have to, you know, deal with anything except that.

The key to outsourcing to these companies is: be very specific on what your project’s going to be; outline it in as much detail as possible so that there’s very little uncertainty involved. And that takes some practice, because I’ve outsourced some things where it hasn’t gone so well because I hadn’t specified the project exactly. So spend the extra time to specify your project before you put it up for bid. But you’d be amazed at what you can get done through these services for cheap. It’s just” they’re tremendous resources if you use them correctly…

Mark Fletcher presentation at Startup SIG – [Niall Kennedy's Weblog]

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