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Is there any software that is both ahead of the competition and outsourced? By that I mean software products which are big sellers and which are highly reviewed, and developed by an entity outside of the entity that owns the product itself.

The "outside entity" could be a domestic or foreign business, performing development work on a contractual basis. I am excluding open source here, as the process is more democratized than the typical product (where the product owner dictates the design and requirements directly).

I'm thinking desktop software like:

  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • MS Office
  • Aperture
  • Visual Studio
  • ReSharper

Or web apps/sites like:

  • Yelp
  • Pandora
  • 37 Signals apps
  • Zendesk
  • Salesforce
  • Amazon

I'm looking for data points, here, and not subjective ideas about what's popular. We can measure popularity by sales or Google rank or other metrics.

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1 Answer

I doubt it.

Outsourcing is usually done for non-mission-critical processes. Yes, software is outsourced, but it is usually done by companies for whom the software isn't part of their core business, or by companies who deliver custom software to clients and have tight controls on their specs and outsource partners.

If developing a specific software application is your core business, you would be foolish to put your core-business into someone else's hands.

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