I am a non-technical entrepreneur who wants to build a mobile app. I am thinking of outsourcing the development to an overseas firm. I am not sure what the risks or alternatives might be. What are some options that I should consider, and what firms do you recommend?
I recommend that you get technical cofounder as soon as possible. Using a contract developer to create a prototype is ok but keep in mind that startups need to iterate and be very flexible in the early stages of company/product development.
A contract developer works best on a fixed spec and will be hard to adapt without a lot of extra costs and frustration on both sides.
Go get a tech cofounder, somebody invested in your product and willing to be flexible and adapt as you discover what your product really is.