If a company expects to own, understand and control its core IP, then outsourcing carries a variety of long-term risks. Are there senior technical *employees* e.g. CTO or VP Engineering with deep-enough knowledge of the product pieces to move development back inside (or to another partner) if things aren’t going well? What’s the learning and traction cycle for such a move? Is the product well architected, well implemented, and not drowning in tech debt? Do the employees have enough internal product/tech savvy to lead good decisions and provide top-to-bottom product management, esp around market/technical trade-offs and prioritization?
Companies with non-technical founders are (IMO) more likely to go outside for development partners, and (for that same reason) less astute clients. Companies with strong technical founders, or where the product itself is the software (rather than a side project or add-on or social media initiative to support some other product) will often want to bring work back in-house after some kickstarting unless they’ve built a long-term-employee-like relationship with an outside partner.