When to Contract Intellectual Property

Look at your electronic company’s product development resources. You can probably categorize 3 types: technologists, implementers and maintainers. Technologists come in two types: generalists and specialists. Implementers come in many flavors platform coders, embedded coders, analog circuit designers, digital designers, RF designers, board designers, component procurers, etc.  Maintenance resources include customer support, installation, failure analysis, validation, etc.  In a small company many individuals might perform more than one of these roles but even so their product development tasks could likely be categorized in one of the 3 categories. So, when a small company finds themselves short in one of these areas when should they consider contracting to expand their resources versus recruiting new individual employees? I think I have some answers to this question but I would like some feedback on my new blogging endeavor so I am asking the question to the readers.  When would you consider contracting a Technology Generalist? Specialist? an Implementer or a Maintaner?

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