Today I replied to someone on LinkedIn who, in my opinion, was being veeery optimistic about Nearshoring.
Sure, Portugal is place of great talent, nice weather (that’s getting old) and now we have WebSummit. But that is not enough. You don’t just need talent. You need trust.
And let me add something more besides talent: culture & market experience.
Unless your company culture matches your potential clients’ you are not getting anything. Moreover, being a white label service provider (which is what companies that do offshore generally are – I am generalizing) shows a sign to potential clients from specific industries that you have no idea (at least practical) about their specific hard-core needs.
My advise? Branch out.
Make sure that the world understands that you are creating a spin-off targeting a specific area. As an example, I know a lot of IT consulting companies trying to enter the videogames market. I know it because some of those same companies have approached me with that same intention. Problem is that, most of the time (and now I exaggerate) those companies will handle a client like King the way they handle a big telco. That is just unacceptable from a business continuity point of view.
Another advise: hire the best professionals you can. Nothing screams inefficiency more than relocating talent from doing SharePoint dev at the local energy giant corp. to implement gameplay on a MMOFPS. Spare no expenses in getting the right persons for the projects (or products) you may have.
According to my friend Catarina Runa, “if you target the right persons with right knowledge and tools, you’ll spare money and lots of time… and then, trust them… let them create the environment, the rules and don’t let the company rules contaminate their creativity… if you expect the unexpected you have to let them break boundaries”.
That’s deep. Yet it is a good practice that many companies who are world class performers actually implement. Want to know the best part? Having such a corporate culture actually works. You even have a certain gentleman, whose words are now a popular motivational image, talking about it.
Want a nice example? Deloitte’s C4D. I have nothing to do with them and will gain 0 opportunities by writing this, but the truth is that they did it the proper way, which I find a very interesting case study that every consulting company should look at.
They started out as a grey and boring company (as we all know), found out that it could actually be a good thing to think ahead of the competition and actually become primus inter pares, and actually did it: branched out, hired specifically for that area, managed to get great talent and now they are out there, making a firm presence in a whole different area that would normally be associated with a creative agency or something similar.
Will it work in the long run? I don’t know, but at least it’s a breath of fresh air.