How Smart Startups Stretch their Funding

When startups reach the key milestone of securing Angel or Venture Capital, their new partners are looking both for a series of deliverables but also a great return on their investment. One of the many questions they ask during the pitch process is generally ‘how long before you’ll need another infusion of capital?’ They love it when the response is … “a long time.”

Once that infusion is safely secured, how do smart entrepreneurs make the most of it? STRETCH. Find the best value for the money on every project. And that includes custom developed software.
In the early 2000s, the key to this savings was to off-shore development. Fast and inexpensive services sprung up across Asia and Eastern Europe, putting hundreds of thousands of software engineers to work… outside of the US.

“Americans are just too expensive,” was the cry.

What we learned, however, was that it’s not really American developers that are so untouchably expensive, but the US major cities that pushed up the prices. The developers in rural areas and small cities are actually quite affordable. Plus – they speak your language, understand your culture, and live somewhat near your time zone (if not in your time zone).

The Whole

Entrepreneurs often judge the viability of outsourcing based on hourly rates they are paying. This can be misleading. When you pay for the least expensive person to do the job, you seldom get the best. Then you wind up paying more for senior team members to work through the problems created by the less-experienced.

Here are three other ways that the whole can end up bigger than the sum of its parts (ie: it’s more expensive to offshore than it looks):

  • Miscommunication = Time Lost: Yes, they speak English. No, they don’t understand your colloquialisms, the cultural impact of the work or how it relates to the industry as a whole. So when the project is delivered, it’s wrong or incomplete. Re-scoping, re-scheduling, re-writing. All take more time, and as a start up it could cost you that window you have to beat your competition to the market
  • Intellectual Property in Lost & Found: When a team of developers works on your project, they get to know your business and understand how the software gives you a competitive advantage. More profoundly, they are actually creating some of your intellectual property. It appears to us that keeping your IP in the US is pretty critical.

The Where

Where you are does make a difference. If your developers are in major cities with high cost of living, you’ll simply spend more than you will when the teams live in places where the cost of living is lower. It’s just logical. And it’s been proven out time and time again on projects we’ve delivered.

But it’s not just the cost of the developer. It’s the cost of your time. That’s why we encourage you to take advantage of our US-based developers, and keep from going:

  • Time Zone Zany: I’ve never met an entrepreneur that wasn’t exhausted. Burning candles at both ends, they manage their business, their product, their employees… they have a hard time managing developers who live 12 hours away.
  • Partner Panicked: I’ve also never met an investor who preferred that the code she just invested in be developed or stored over seas in a distant land, subject to different law and different court system.

    Just because you need to stretch your investment dollars, don’t cheap out on software development. Be responsible. Keep development in the US by working with rural and small city teams. Consider the whole of your investment, and give us a call.

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  • Software in a Different Language

    PS Solutions Software in a Different Language

    In an earlier blog post we discussed the benefits of custom software to help businesses establish a competitive edge. Yet designing, testing, installing and training can be a significant battle for the team leader.
    Organizations quite often conclude that their in-house development team is either already overworked or that they don’t have the necessary skills required to complete the project. Coders and app developers have specialties, generally in different languages like HTML, Java Script, C++ -- the list goes on. If the new system calls for Python and that’s not in the programmers’ wheelhouse, you’ll likely outsource the work.
    Outsourcing in the US likely means the computer language is the primary concern. Outsourcing offshore, however, will invariably add a few layers of complexity to the project, including the spoken and written language. Having your team work in different development languages is one thing. Having them try to understand a second language and envelope that into the system may be the breaking point for a successful endeavor.

    Dialect, Accent, Colloquialisms

    When folks from the northeast move to southern states, they often found themselves having a hard time understanding the accent, especially in the deep south. Are they hearing a foreign language? Even those with a rather well-developed ear, who’ve traveled extensively ask people to repeat themselves. There are so many English dialects that misunderstandings occur regularly. Accents among Americans are difficult enough but add accents of English speakers from across the globe and it’s likely that the work to decipher meaning can confound situations. Non-native speakers often slip into the sentence structure of their native language and confuse inferences due to colloquial speech and slang that dominate today’s communication style.

    Tech Translation

    A friend of one of our co-workers lives in Poland. His Facebook feed recently had a cute picture of a child and a description written in Polish. Not speaking Polish himself, he decided to use one of the many translation apps available. Apparently, the way it was translated made our colleague shudder that his Polish friend was speaking so negatively about his son… Of course, when asked directly, the translation software had not interpreted the comment correctly. Imagine a situation like that when teams are trying to work on projects as complex as a software system. It’s not enough to outsource to an English-speaking team. Communication among those working on the project can make or break its success, so consider the clarity of working with an astute team here on US soil. Don’t let any part of your system get lost in translation.

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    Software Development Firm PS Solutions Opens Wilmington, NC Office

    PS Solutions fills regional skills gap and provides on-shore solutions for

    companies facing technology roadblocks

      Wilmington, NC – May 29, 2018 -- PS Solutions is opening a Wilmington, NC, office bringing creative solutions in software development to companies in the Carolinas that are hitting technology roadblocks. PS Solutions offers a staff of software and project management professionals and serves major corporations and mid-size entrepreneurs alike, providing programming and software development, contract IT services, and onsite placement of IT professionals. With offices in Altoona and Pittsburgh, the company employs a diverse group of technology professionals with a commitment to solving the tech talent vacuum and keeping technology from moving off-shore. PS Solutions is currently working out of UNCW’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship on College Road and is looking to grow its Carolina-based staff throughout the year.

    “Wilmington offers an important new business landscape for us, opening avenues to RTP and the southeast region,” said Wayne Hippo, managing partner of PS Solutions. “We look forward to serving the growing fintech, healthcare and service sector economy, all of which rely on secure, scalable and state-of-the-art software solutions.” The company works for a broad range of clients who need help with .net, Java and Android platforms, providing creative and cost-saving solutions to support their growth.

    Creative Solutions to Technology Problems PS Solutions can scale its expertise for Fortune 500 and multi-national corporations, mid-size companies and start-ups, alike. Clients have included:
    • A convenience retail chain of 500 stores that required an enterprise-wide platform for HR systems
    • A landscape design company working to update its web portal and develop an app for real-time field-staff communications
    • A national education organization that, having invested nearly $2 million in a failed offshore software re-write, turned to PS Solutions to transition proprietary but outdated user-facing technology to a web-enabled standard.
    “Ours is a team of creative problem solvers,” explains Mr. Hippo, “we are adept at secure solutions for our fin-tech clients and have HIPPA-certified developers for our healthcare clients.”

    Keeping IT Stateside The trend of off-shoring technology development and IT support is a critical driver for Mr. Hippo and his partner, Joe Merilli. The two are committed to providing an accessible solution to companies who wish to keep their technology in the US. “Technology affects every aspect of our lives, so it is important that we, as a country, control how it is developed and applied,” explains Mr. Hippo. With comparisons to America’s furniture and textile industries, he asks, “Do we really want to offshore our banking and healthcare technologies? Keeping software development here at home is a matter of national security,” he says.

    About PS Solutions PS Solutions, a software development firm headquartered in Altoona, PA, with offices in Pittsburgh and Wilmington, NC, uses US-based developers to alleviate the technology talent vacuum. The company’s creative approach to software development services earned them a position on the Inc. 5000 list, in the top 150 fastest growing IT Services Private Companies (133) and ranked 7th in Pennsylvania.


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    At PS Solutions, we believe that software and technology are important in our day-to-day lives. Our goal is to ensure that the computer code running everything from banking to healthcare to national security is written, protected and stored right here in the USA. We hire top-flight software developers who creatively solve problems and we put them to work here in the USA. Let’s tackle your software projects together, using American creativity and “know how”.


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    Altoona Development Center
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    Altoona, PA, 16601

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