Today, it's not hard to imagine outsourcing most (or even all) functions and product development aspects. And yes, contractors may also hire vendors to speed up and improve certain processes.
We at Aspirity believe it's worth having all skills and competencies directly related to the product we develop in our HQ. Everything else can be outsourced if there is a person responsible for a particular aspect of work in the headquarters.
As we've already mentioned in our article about hiring a product manager
for your project, we think it's better to have strategic product skills in-house. This also applies to anything else related to strategy and planning. It's worth dealing with these development aspects in the headquarters, while the realization can be outsourced, which is much more beneficial in many cases.
As an example, let's take a look at marketing. It's a good idea to keep ICP development, creating feedback from the customers and users, content plan, etc., in the HQ. The vendor can also help, but it's crucial to have a person who deeply understands the product specifics and the strategy, thanks to being inside the context in your in-house team.
This internal expertise is important because every single detail matters. A third-party agency isn't likely to achieve the necessary engagement level.
The same goes for product development. It's better to make the most important strategic technical decisions in-house, while the vendor can consult you and bring additional expertise from their side. Thus, having a CTO in your headquarters is highly beneficial even if you have no in-house software engineers.