So there's tons of documentation and books on project management, agile development, how to manage outsourcing projects, how to send our project offshore, etc...
But I'm on the other side, I'm running an offshore / outsource rails development shop. I started out as a one person dev team, as the technical lead, now I've got a dozen developers and three major clients. Things are going well, and i feel like I want to keep growing. We're adding a developer a month at this point.
My problem is, I realize that what has worked so far will stop working as we grow. So my question is, where is the documentation about how to build a company from 10 people to 50?
The primary work, building amazing applications and website for clients we know how to do and are good at. I've even discovered that I'm pretty good at sales. But I've always been on the engineering side of things and never paid much attention to the biz side.
So where should I go for information, what should I read?
Books Outsourcing Consulting Business
Agreed - tough to find info from this vantage point.
Is your definition of an outsourced software development shop vs a standard software development shop is the physical location of the developers? Besides the obvious problems of managing geographically disperse staff, is there something else managerially challenging that may not be obvious?
Here is an interesting q&a video link from entrepreneur.com interviewing a software dev services company president. http://www.entrepreneur.com/video/1812186067/playlist/1445018101/ May not be applicable - but eric sink's book on the business of software may be of value - seems a bit micro-isv focused.
Cusumano's book on the business of software may be better suited.
Perhaps Bob Walsh will check in on this topic...
You are definitely going to risk a lot with the growth of the business. It appears based on your comments that you are making your customers happy and that you are developing great software.
My opinion is that it WON'T scale. It is hard enough scaling/growing a company that makes their OWN product while keeping quality and passion. When you add to it the fact that you are commoditizing software development, you are going to lose the quality and passion in the long run. You might as well be flipping burgers (which does scales well) In my experience developing software for others doesn't scale well/at all.
IMO - I don't think it is possible. Outsourcing + Large = mediocre software (at best).
What to do about it?
Leverage the knowledge and experience you have and grow your own software company/product. This, in fact scales better than just selling hours of work. You would not be the first company to finance/subsidize product development with consulting work.