Long time watchers of my content will know that I have a morbid fascination with failing software projects, so here’s lesson number 489 in my continuing series of ways in which your technology business can give you a heart-attack.

There is nothing to stop your software partner going bankrupt.

If you are outsourcing your development – and many people have to outsource when they start out – you have zero control and zero insight into the inner workings of the corporate entity that is doing that work.

i.e. you do not really know if they are about to fail critically.

In a public post like this, I am limited about what I can say about how to deal with this. (With clients I have a little premade plan that I use to put measures in place to protect against this.) I can say publicly is that that no one thinks about this problem, at all, but software companies are certainly not immune from insolvency.

In the early stages of the business, founders tend not to think about business continuity at all – it’s normally something that gets more airtime when a business has been more established.

But if you are effectively a software company and the outsourcer that is actually delivering and running your software day-to-day goes under, that it is what the discipline of business continuity is for.

And business continuity on a basic level is about identifying the risks, and deciding ahead of time what you’re going to do to address each of those risks.

What you need to do is set aside some time to come up with a plan as to what you are going to do to deal with your software partner suddenly not being there anymore, and you not being able to access either the latest source code, or any of the engineering staff at that partner.