How Team Dhaka Came to Be
Since 2012 I’ve built a hand-picked team of software developers in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Our mantra is “think like an American.” It means that unlike multiple outsourced teams I’ve used, this team challenges my thinking by taking ownership of the objective, not merely the task. They’re constantly coming up with better ways to achieve goals and directives, usually on startup timelines. That’s not what most founders expect from an overseas team.
My team has an excellent reputation in Dhaka and a line of people who want to work on what we’re doing. It’s not exactly a bench, but is definitely a pipeline of talented challengers hungry to execute.
The first one I hired, who has become my lifelong friend, his Dad was shot and killed when he was 13. He stepped up and put his sister through college and has taken care of his Mom ever since. The team has grit.
Most of all, I personally use this team in every startup software adventure, and we have amazing results. For example, our case study won Best Presentation at Austin’s 23rd Product Camp in 2019 for “How We Cut a Product Team’s costs 31% and Improved Quality, Speed, and Happiness by 25%+ each.”
How the Better Results? Objective-Driven Work Style
We don’t do product-lawyer ticket work, just receiving tasks and executing them. We won’t argue with you whether you defined things perfectly, and remembered to say the word “when you hit the save button, record the data to the database” (an Indian software company actually told me that was my problem one time! Right before they custom-coded CSS on 25 pages because I didn’t say to “use CSS like you’re supposed to”).
This is how we work:
- We commit to objectives, like OKRs. Our team problem-solves on the objectives, with Isaiah or Josiah (USA-based Product Managers and veteran entrepreneurs).
- For example: I need to deploy an app, we need a new pillar for our software offerings, we need to implement test automation, etc.
- Nobody is fractionally assigned. This person, this work, their pride in their work, your success.
- We don’t count hours. We bill by the month. A minimum engagement is three months.
- Offline mentorship. Our team checks in with its USA product managers and in-office architects regularly to ensure the product is on track and expectations are managed.
This is the same style of software development Isaiah runs in his companies, and it’s based on Marty Cagan’s Inspired: How to build tech products customers love. Our team commits to the outcome, not just the process.
Some of Our Work
- NXTBoard – vue.js, automated testing in Testrails, and complete architecture for a new module (Policies), plus support of all other modules for this B2B board management software used even by Houston ISD, the USA’s 7th largest school district
- Panther Labs – Golang, Serverless, etc backend for this B2B platform
- statUP – Node.js, native mobile apps, back-end in AWS using Lambdas and Serverless architecture for this 4.5-star rated B2C soccer app used by ~30,000.
- Towny – A B2B2C mobile app and webapp powering 500+ businesses in 4 cities with 30,000+ users. We took over a failed product launch and then launched the all-in-react initial working version of the app a few month later, and went from there.
- 9Lenses – Angular.js / front end / some back-end for a B2B software app used by thousands of Fortune 500 users every week.
Setup Fee – There’s a setup fee for laptops, new desks, and our risk of contracting with a new person who may switch jobs to join us (usually $2-10k).
Management Always Included – Note that you don’t pay for the Product Manager unless you’re hiring a product manager for the project. Otherwise, our client team ensures the project is scoped and defined. Our management is light because we only hire independent thinkers.
FFP Available – Email/call to explore a firm-fixed-price contract if you know what you want and want us to take the risk of time factors—we like to bet on ourselves. (This is a great approach to MVPs, but not for ongoing optimizations of them.)
Family tech, neuroscience, communication, product management, growth
A synthesizer of neuroscience, classical rhetoric, philosophy, 5,000+ hours at whiteboards, high stakes presentations, Fortune 10 consulting, and startup growth.