I develop and sell iPhone apps. I've released one app, and decided to build a few more, in parallel. I thought about outsourcing some of the coding, so I went on Elance and posted some jobs there. The estimates I've got from the contractors there turned out to be a bit higher than I had expected, and were generally comparable with the software engineer salaries in the US (e.g. they ask for $1000 for what would be maybe 4 days worth of work for me). I wonder if the lower rates of the oversees contractors often get offset by their lower productivity?
So I started doubting if the outsourcing approach is worth it. My company is new and is not making money right now. I'm bootstrapping it with my savings. I could invest some money to get things done by other people, or I could invest some of my time and save the money. What should I do?
I'd appreciate any insights and advice about my situation :)
[UPDATE] Thanks so much everybody for such thoughtful and helpful responses! If I could accept all of your answers, I would. I'll briefly summarize my own experiences so far. It is true that writing a very detailed requirements document is both essential and time-consuming. I've discovered that as I work on that document, and think about the potential ways a feature might be implemented, I'm really doing the hardest part of the job, and leaving just some fairly straightforward coding to the contractor. As a developer, it's pretty easy for me at this point just go off and write the code myself.
So out of the 2 jobs that I wanted to outsource, I decided to do one myself (a foundation for a new app), and outsource the smaller one (a well-defined feature for an existing app, implemented as a standalone app so I don't have to share my code with the contractor). The developer (based in Russia) has already sent me the code, and I'm happy with how is it going so far. To be fair, when I talked to him on Skype, we spoke in Russian since that's my first language too. I think it'd be more difficult to communicate with him in English.
I've read some stories of people successfully outsourcing entire apps, with the UI design and all, but I'm not sure how common that is. I.e. I really suspect that for one person who got lucky with that there may be many who have just wasted their money.