Q: Is there a successful startup that has outsourced its MVP?
It’s more common than you think.
We partly outsourced our MVP at Adobe / Sign. While we designed it in-house, we didn’t have enough engineers to build the 1.0. So our CTO sat resident in a design firm and worked with the devs there for the first 3 months.
Slack is a more radical example:
The company “Slack” at the time of build the Slack was a gaming company and outsourced some of the 1.0 for Slack.
How much is a bit unclear, but the agency MetaLab claims they build the entire 1.0 including the mobile apps: Slack’s $25 Billion Dollar Secret Sauce out of the bones of the initial prototype.
Whoever built what exactly, a lot of the 1.0 of Slack was outsourced.