How To Work With an Outsourced Tech Firm To Get Your Product Built

Five ways to mitigate the risk of unpleasant surprises

Joe Procopio
6 min readOct 12, 2020


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Having an experienced technical resource on your side to help you turn your vision into reality is an amazing feeling. Until it isn’t.

That’s the number one problem I hear from companies who work with an outsourced firm to build out their tech:

“I don’t know that things are going poorly until it’s too late.”

One of the stops on my startup journey was the several years I spent running a technical and product consulting firm. Smaller companies and startups would hire us to outsource their technical build, huge corporations and government organizations would hire us to be a technical bullshit detector on their outsourced development.

Here’s the cold fact. Technical development is full of risk and unknowns.

There are two ways to react to that reality. One is to shrug and hope for the best, the other is to mitigate the risk of unpleasant surprises from the moment you engage a technical firm.

I’ll distill my experience on the other side to talk about how to save your company some headache and maybe even a ton of money.

How to find and engage the right firm for you

Back away from Google search. Steer clear of freelancer listing services. Do not be tempted to respond to inbound emails and unsolicited LinkedIn messages.

The key to finding the technical development firm that’s going to work for you is to reduce the degrees of separation between you and that firm. And that takes more work than a search engine is going to do for you. Now to be clear, when I say reduce the degrees of separation, I’m not talking about physical distance, I’m talking about trust. You want to find someone you trust who trusts a firm that did actual work for them, and recently.

Start with who you know. Just as if you were replacing your HVAC unit or finding an honest plumber, and expand outward.

Be clear with what information you’re looking for, because the devil is always in the details. People will gush about how awesome a tech firm is until they…



Joe Procopio

Multi-exit, multi-failure entrepreneur. NLG pioneer & eService expert. Building & Uncommon founder. More at