When Murtuza started consulting on the side with his co-founder Hari to fund the startup they were building, he didn’t think of it as a business – simply a way to be able to pay his bills. Soon he had so many clients that he had to hire help, and he realized that he actually enjoyed working on different projects day to day.
Within a few years, he closed his first 6 figure contract. Now he runs F22 Labs, a 22 employee full-stack mobile and web development company in India that’s able to charge the same prices as American dev shops.
In this episode we discuss how he was able to start landing clients so quickly and consistently, his approach to building relationships, and the iterative work that he did on his business in the early days to stand out from the thousands of engineering shops in India.
If you’ve ever considered building an app and outsourcing the engineering work, this episode is a must listen. Murtuza gives us a blueprint for building software products from scratch. He also breaks down exactly how business, engineering, and product teams should work together to ensure that they build a successful product, providing incredible insight into how business and technical teams should operate together.
The products his team has built have been featured in New York Times, Mashable, TechCrunch, Business Insider, and more.
Murtuza was kind enough to share this incredible checklist with our listeners, for those that are looking to outsource their engineering work.
- 3:55 Learning the ropes and building a team at Fab.com
- 4:45 Getting a full time job is a great way to get paid to learn
- 6:24 The importance empathizing with customers and why that can make you better at your job
- 8:20 Deciding to start a business after feeling too comfortable at work, and how Murtuza's father inspired him
- 12:30 Building a product and trying to raise money around it
- 14:40 Learning from his mistakes, and taking on consulting work to stay afloat
- 15:47 How a side gig to support himself started turning into a real business with employees
- 16:28 Figuring out what to charge his clients
- 17:39 Building a business off of referrals and word of mouth
- 18:32 Building an app for BJ Novak of The Office
- 20:00 The common problems entrepreneurs make when outsourcing development
- 20:40 The importance of road-mapping before starting development
- 21:53 How business people should evaluate engineering teams
- 22:15 Murtuza's intense focus on transparency and why most engineering companies don't do this
- 25:00 The importance being able to test how you communicate with an outsourced team before hiring them for the whole project
- 27:43 Diving into the numbers - how Murtuza closed his first 6 figure client
- 30:00 Expanding the business to offer marketing services
- 30:41 How to validate a product for free