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Eric Sink on the Business of Software (Expert's Voice) [Paperback]

Eric Sink
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 20, 2006 1590596234 978-1590596234 1

Eric Sink on the Business of Software is a selection of the best and most popular essays from the author's website. This insightful collection of essays explore the business concerns that programmers face during the course of their careers—particularly those programmers who are small independent software vendors.

Sink also covers issues like starting your own business, and then performing the hiring, marketing, and finances in a style that programmers understand, sprinkled with a touch of humor.

Table of Contents

  1. What Is a Small ISV?
  2. Whining by a Barrel of Rocks
  3. Starting Your Own Company
  4. Finance for Geeks
  5. Exploring Micro-ISVs
  6. First Report from My Micro-ISV
  7. Make More Mistakes
  8. Small ISVs: You Need Developers, Not Programmers
  9. Geeks Rule and MBAs Drool
  10. Hazards of Hiring
  11. Great Hacker != Great Hire
  12. My Comments on “Hitting the High Notes”
  13. Career Calculus
  14. Finding a Product Idea for Your Micro-ISV
  15. Marketing Is Not a Post-processing Step
  16. Choose Your Competition
  17. Act Your Age
  18. Geek Gauntlets
  19. Be Careful Where You Build
  20. The Game Is Afoot
  21. Going to a Trade Show
  22. Magazine Advertising Guide for Small ISVs
  23. Tenets of Transparency
  24. Product Pricing Primer
  25. Closing the Gap, Part 1
  26. Closing the Gap, Part 2

Frequently Bought Together

Eric Sink on the Business of Software (Expert's Voice) + The Business of Software: What Every Manager, Programmer, and Entrepreneur Must Know to Thrive and Survive in Good Times and Bad + Software That Sells: A Practical Guide to Developing and Marketing Your Software Project
Price for all three: $62.16

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Eric Sink graduated in 1990 from the University of Illinois with a degree in computer science. After living for a year in Spain, he spent five years at Spyglass, where he led the group that developed the Web browser later to become known as Internet Explorer. In 1997, Eric left Spyglass and founded SourceGear, which is now a leading vendor of version control tools. In 2002, SourceGear was honored by Inc. magazine as one of the 500 fastest-growing private companies in America.

Product Details

  • Series: Expert's Voice
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Apress; 1 edition (March 20, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590596234
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590596234
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.8 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #513,862 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
My contact at Apress recently sent me a copy of Eric Sink on the Business of Software by, of course, Eric Sink. He's the person responsible for coining the phrase "micro-ISV", and he's the chief bottle-washer at SourceGear. This book is a compilation (and commentary and/or expansion) of some of his postings from his blog, and they all relate to the subject of running a small software company where you are responsible for everything. There is very good material in here, even if you don't think you'll ever sell anything you code on your own...


Part 1 - Entrepreneurship: What Is a Small ISV?; Whining by a Barrel of Rocks; Starting Your Own Company; Finance for Geeks; Exploring Micro-ISVs; First Report from My Micro-ISV; Make More Mistakes

Part 2 - People: Small ISVs - You Need Developers, Not Programmers; Geeks Rule and MBAs Drool; Hazards of Hiring; Great Hacker != Great Hire; My Comments on "Hitting the High Notes"; Career Calculus

Part 3 - Marketing: Finding a Product Idea for Your Micro-ISV; Marketing Is Not a Post-processing Step; Choose Your Competition; Act Your Age; Geek Gauntlets; Be Careful Where You Build; The Game Is Afoot; Going to a Trade Show; Magazine Advertising Guide for Small ISVs

Part 4 - Sales: Tenets of Transparency; Product Pricing Primer; Closing the Gap, Part 1; Closing the Gap, Part 2; Just Do It


I think every decent developer/programmer has at some point imagined writing some piece of software that they could sell and make a fortune on. It's true that a very, very small minority ever act on that, but it's not as far-fetched as you might think in the Internet Age.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Mildly interesting to anybody involved in software development; reasonably useful if you're involved in _managing_ SW development; indispensable if you're thinking of starting a SW development firm or joining a startup in a very early phase. Each chapter is well written, although the book as a whole suffers a bit in terms of organization by too closely reflecting the chapters' origins as blog entries -- deeper editing might have made the book a better experience when reading from start to finish.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you have been following up Eric Sink's essays on his blog, you probably already have bought this book and enjoyed every single line of it. For others, Eric Sink is `Software Craftsman' at SourceGear and a writer extraordinaire on all things technology related.

Eric's writings range from trenches of software development life cycle, management, people, software business, innovation, process and software engineering. This 300 page book is divided into four parts: Entrepreneurship, People, Marketing and Sales. Entrepreneurship section consists of seven essays dealing with topic of starting and running your software business, its pitfalls, pros and cons. People section comprises of six chapters which mainly deal about people problems, what makes a good hire and how employee's behavior can impact productivity. This section comprises of advice about recruitment, interviews, spotting talents and bewares of `bad eggs' etc. Marketing section is the largest, constitutes nine chapters on marketing strategy and communication. This is followed by Sales section which is essentially about contemporary sales techniques and concepts for the software market. There are lots of ideas in the book, some of which I don't necessarily agree with. Nevertheless, it makes a very good reading written from a developer turned manager prospect who has been working in the industry for quite some time, in the industry where we count time in dog years. An interesting thing I noted in contrast with Joel Spolsky was that Eric doesn't credit higher education towards innovation as much as Joel does, but then again if you'll look at the portfolio of these experts in their particular genre, the reason will become obvious.

The writing is simple and easy to understand.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book to read, before to start any project December 19, 2006
I have to be honest, if I had read this book before I started the adventure where I am involved I probably never was jumping in this boat and start to row. Anyway here I am and I will use the knowledge in a wise way.

This book is excellent to understand how to start on your own, and not die during the effort. I will say this book brings really good advice to any developer that wants to be more than a Coder. The concept goes for Developers that wants to go in the ISV world, but i will say this is a handbook to Developers that want to understand how to create successful projects, it doesn't matter if its for your own clients, your own product, or working for someone else.

I have to say Thank You to the Author.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
I've known Eric Sink for 7 years now, having met him at a Linux trade show in 1999. He has always been an excellent communicator, and this book exemplifies that. In addition to clarity, he is incredibly insightful and able to impart that insight to the rest of us.

This book should appeal to anyone in the technology industry (at all ends of the spectrum), even though it is "aimed" at people who want to start or are running a small-sized software company.

If you want to learn, at the same time as having some extremely hearty laughs, then I highly recommend this book!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great insight for all Software developers. ISV ISV ISV!
Thank you Eric for this great book! Many times during the read, I was freaking out and thinking " How did this guy get into my head" ! I wish I read your blogs earlier. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Abdullah Choudhury
4.0 out of 5 stars Rock Solid Content
Really good material. Minus 1 star for being dated, I almost passed because of this (hint: write an updated version, people will buy it! Read more
Published 21 months ago by Amazon Customer
2.0 out of 5 stars The first half is pretty good ...
I was enjoying this book and learned a few things. Interestingly enough, I had already been doing everything very much the way Sink suggests for the last few years. Read more
Published 24 months ago by Mark J. Evereklian
2.0 out of 5 stars Not so good
Advice is very general and basic and experiences in the book are unique to himself and would not apply to you.
Published on January 6, 2011 by b00
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting book
I've read a number or articles from Eric's website and found them useful. I'd recommend this book to anyone involved in the software industry.
Published on July 28, 2010 by S. Nikoo
2.0 out of 5 stars Lets stereotype software
Interesting and thought provoking ideas.

But at its heart this book is a manual about how to stereotype software people. Read more
Published on March 31, 2010 by D. Neckels
4.0 out of 5 stars Some common sense and some good advise
If you like to read dead trees and you are interested in the Business of Software, than this book is a gook buy. Read more
Published on May 8, 2009 by Pietro F. Maggi
5.0 out of 5 stars As valuable today as it was when it was first published!
I'm a Windows-based software developer who has for years dreamt about starting my own software company. Read more
Published on May 8, 2009 by TechExec
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Read for a Chief Geek!
This is a great book! A must read for any Geek interested in business, especially those interested in starting their own business. Eric's writing style is so honest and real. Read more
Published on January 10, 2009 by Dennis Bottjer
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice to read. Good advises. Specific for a type of bussiness software.
As a software developer, i recommend this book, easy to read, simple, many good advises....

I only complain that the writer mainly talks about his specific field. Read more
Published on November 22, 2008 by Jose Alfredo Cano Ruiz
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