15 Successful Startups Built Using Outsourcing Development

Starting a business is perhaps one of the most difficult things possible. The reason for this being all the backend grunt work that goes behind getting it up and running. Hiring staff costs insane amounts of money, and doing certain jobs yourself takes way too much time to learn and perfect. That’s why keeping your sanity by outsourcing certain jobs plays such a pivotal role in the way things get done both cheaply and efficiently.

You’d be pleasantly surprised as to how many of your favorite best-known companies got their startup idea up and running, thanks in large part to outsourcing. These businesses were savvy enough to acquire the services of freelancers in an attempt to save themselves from unnecessarily burning through large amounts of capital.

So without further hesitation, here are 15 successful startups built on outsourcing.

why outsource GTS

  1. Slack: This is probably the most popular business communication tool out right now. Just about everyone who works remotely or within a corporate setting uses Slack. The company used outsourcing to build out its platform in the early days. Now it is being valued at around $3 billion.
  2. Skype: Similar to thousands or millions of businesses operating today, they used a team of foreign developers based in Estonia. This allowed the company to help build out their business. As a result, the company grew and became an industry leader in VOIP (Voice-over-IP) communication services. Later the company would be acquired by Microsoft for several billion dollars.
  3. Basecamp: The same kind of business savvy when it comes to saving money by outsourcing worked for Basecamp, a technology leader.
  4. Github: Before the company started helping people build software, they used numerous folks who completed development working remotely from home. Not to mention, one of the founders of the company was hired as a consultant on an outsourcing basis.
  5. Klout: To help get its technology off the ground, the company relied on many outsourced developers to get things where it needed to be before it launched. Now Klout is one of the leaders in helping people who want to be great at social media.
  6. Alibaba: Alibaba is the biggest global marketplace you can access online. However, what people don’t know is the company initially outsourced its development to a firm in the U.S. in its beginning days. At the time, overseas development talent was still in short supply and the U.S. had the skills Alibaba needed to compete with e-commerce giants like eBay and did it all behind the Chinese internet restrictions. Outsourcing development to contractors can provide affordable talent to a startup when it needs it the most.
  7. SeatGeek: This company found a considerable cost benefit to outsourcing specific tasks to talent in other countries. That helped them build their infrastructure quicker at less cost than hiring in-house staff. The founder Jack Groetzinger has publicly stated how he’s a firm believer in the power of outsourcing in the early stages.
  8. AppSumo: The company has used many freelancers in various fields, including marketing, content and IT to grow its business. AppSumo is proud of the fact that it was started with just a modest 50 bucks. Crazy, right?
  9. Staff.com: Earns its money as a company that offers outsourced talent and freelancers for other organizations. Staff.com utilized a similar model like many of the companies on this list in growing from a start-up into a globally successful business.
  10. UpWork: Isn’t it ironic that a company that specializes in crowdsourced work was also built on the same principles? Well, that’s the beginnings of how UpWork started, as they were built by contractors. Most of the company’s engineering staff is comprised of talent they hired off their own ODesk marketplace.
  11. Fab.com: This company’s e-commerce platform was built by using a software development firm in India. Over time, Fab.com saw that the site’s needs were more robust and, as a result, purchased the India firm. The company succeeded in its outsourcing efforts in large part due to top-level execs’ skill at managing the outsourcing process.
  12. Groove: Before being acquired by Microsoft, this SaaS (software-as-a-service) company made the decision to outsource the technical aspects of growing its business through a firm. Thus, allowing for the company to save money it would’ve otherwise spent on hiring a full-time staff.
  13. Opera: This web browser was strapped for cash, so paying for top notch developers was out of the equation. Instead, the company made the smart decision to hire developers in other countries to implement its platform.
  14. Gliffy: Way before Gliffy was able help professionals create UML diagrams, floor plans, Venn diagrams, flowcharts and various other kinds of diagrams online, it had to be extremely resourceful with limited funds. As a result, the company relied on outsourcing for specific aspects of its technology development.
  15. Mailburn: These guys made the calculated decision to partner up with an outsourced service provider. This allowed for the company to build its business communication platform with backward compatibility with email.

We hope you enjoyed this list of successful startups that defied the odds and became leaders of their industry using outsourcing development as a key tool. Be sure to check out our outsourcing services here.

9 Must Have Magento Extensions to Jump Start Your Business

Most owners who run their own online store probably know that Magento is one of the most popular e-commerce platforms. It’s a platform with many extensions available, including email management, social marketing tools, currency/shipping conversions, etc.

It holds thousands of plugins in these categories that can be added to your store to give it an extra boost in sales and functionality. However, lots of startup businesses don’t have the expertise or know how to implement any of this stuff. So finding the right source to tell you what to look for is essential.

To better understand this, we sifted through all the extensions and came up with a list. Here’s the 9 must have Magento extensions to jump start your online store.

Fishpig Magento WordPress Integration

megento wordpress

This is a must have plugin if you’re running a blog and online store. Fishpig Magento WordPress Integration links your store with your WordPress blog. Once both platforms sync, owners can easily switch back and forth from the WP dashboard and the Magento admin panel with one click. Works for a seamless transition.

Having two of the best platforms integrated in this way is a really great cornerstone to running an officiant blog and online store. As a result, this plugin must be on your list of extensions that need to be added.

Read more about Fishpig integration here

Fooman Google Analytics

Fooman Google Analytics

Fooman Google Analytics provides deeper capabilities for your Google analytics. This includes tracking of your Adwords purchases and conversions. It dives into more in-depth detail on your site’s analytics. Thereupon seeing how Adwords is converting for you in addition to the ability to filter by the customer.

This plugin sort of goes with Magento WordPress Integration as it focuses on the blog aspect of your site. You should definitely consider grabbing this is you want to take the writing side of things seriously.

One Page Checkout

magento one page checkout

One Page Checkout module is a free solution that makes checking out for a customer way simpler. As a result, the extension reduces the steps required when buying something.

This is incredibly important when converting potential transactions into sales, as it speeds up the process. This could help lower your cart abandonment.

In addition, this extension also supports multiple languages, and PayPal integration, which is a huge feature to have. That’s why it belongs on anyone’s top Magento extensions list.

Sweet Tooth

sweet tooth magento


Magento’s most customizable loyalty and rewards extension. Sweet Tooth allows you to reward just about anything your visitors or customers do. This includes reviews, social sharing, newsletter subscriptions, referrals, and many more categories.

As a result, you can turn your existing customer base into repeat purchasers and brand advocates with the Sweet Tooth extension and a great support team. It’s a real must have a plugin that should be on your site.


zendesk magento

Zendesk is a cloud-based customer support plugin that’s another one of the great Magento extensions out. Great for a one person operated business. The extension integrates with your Magento store to enable customer support within the Magento platform.

How does creating tickets without leaving Magento sound? Good, right? Well, this plugin does, in fact, allow you to create tickets without leaving Magento.

Furthermore, online store owners can also see customer support tickets based on relevance. This lets stores use the customer dashboards to help filter through tickets. If you need a solution to keep customer support clean and in order, then Zendesk is for you!


mailchimp magento

MageMonkey by ebizmarts is the official MailChimp extension that integrates with Magento. So if you currently run all your newsletters through MailChimp, then this plugin is right for you. It will effectively improve how you communicate with your customers and potential customers.

It allows you to create auto-responding emails for completed transactions, birthday wishes, reminders about abandoned carts among others. Its seamless integration allows for a smooth working experience. A real no-brainer to use as far as Magento extensions are concerned.


AddShoppers Magento Extension


AddShoppers adds social icons into your product so your customers can share them onto various social sites like Facebook and Twitter. Moreover, this extension provides online store owners with a record of the number of products shared.

Not to mention, you can also see which products are the most widely shared, or most sold, from the social share as well as see the highest revenue-generating item. It’s a really organized tool to keep on top of your best performing products.


matrix magento

Managing to ship isn’t easy, especially if you’re a new e-commerce store. Thus, MatrixRate by WebShopApps is the way to go. Easily one of the most frustrating parts of not having a plugin like this is figuring out what each item cost when going out to specific locations.

Well, struggle no more. Matrixrate helps solve the problem of determining variations in shipping costs for weight, location, quantity and other variables. The way the extension does this is by creating different tables that instantly apply a shipping cost to your customer’s order. This saves owner’s money and time.

Cubix Address Label Printing

cubix address printing labels

Honestly, this extension sort of goes hand and hand with the last one we mentioned. Cubix Address Label Printing is one of the great Magento extensions out there. Additionally, it allows stores to print beautiful address labels – you know – the great looking ones you attach on a package before sending it out.

Equally important, the plugin prints the label directly from the admin panel, so there’s no need to bounce in and out of programs. You can determine the label size, layout, and pieces of information to include on the label. With Matrixrate alongside this, your online store should be good to go in the shipping department.

Magento: Complete Guide on How to Add Video Tab on Product Page

Videos are great way to connect with the customers yet it one of the most under-utilized ecommerce strategies. We’ve talked about the importance of product photography in the past, but great product photos are table stakes at this point. If you want to take your ecommerce business to the next level and blow past your competition, you can’t afford to ignore the power of incorporating video into your mix. Product videos can have an incredible ability to increase conversions by better helping people understand your product and provide customers with as much information as possible about the products you offer.

In Magento, it is best to add a product video on product information tab.  The following shows you the steps on how to add a video tab on product page

  • Login to your admin panel
  • Navigate to Catalog -> Attributes -> Manage Attributes

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  • Click on “Add New Attribute” button

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You will be prompted to a new window as shown below

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  • Specify videoID on Attribute Code, select Store View for the scope, and Text Fieldfor Catalog Input Type for Store Owner. Leave the rest of the field as is.
  • Save the attribute
  • Go to Catalog -> Attributes -> Manage Attributes Set

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  • Select yourattribute set which you are using for your site
  • UnderUnassigned Attributes you will see videoID item which you should drag into the left column, under General section:

Note: videoID is the attribute code I specified during the Add Attribute step, see Step 4

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  • Go to Catalog -> Manage Products

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  • Click Save Attribute button
  • Select the Product to edit
  • Input your video URL in theVideo URL field

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  • Click the SAVE button


For handling the popup you will need to integrate below changes.

  1. Install/Integrate colorbox within your Magento (http://www.jacklmoore.com/colorbox/)
  1. Do minor code changes at below path.

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