Customer Reviews

35
4.6 out of 5 stars
Micro-ISV: From Vision to Reality
Format: PaperbackChange
Price:$24.43 + Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on January 11, 2006
Format: Paperback
The steps involved in setting up a small software business can be daunting. Walsh has gone through the process himself, from his own "vision to reality", and has written this book in an attempt to show other prospective Micro-ISVs (Independent (or Internet) Software Vendors) the way. As well as drawing on his own experience, Walsh has also interviewed many other successful micro-ISV founders who provide their own insights, including Joel Spolsky of Fog Creek Software, and names from big companies such as Microsoft and Google.

This book focuses on the requirements for running a business in the USA, but includes large sections for those based in the UK and Australia. It also provides a short tutorial in David Allen's "Getting Things Done" personal productivity methodology.

The book contains the following chapters:

(1) "Having a Vision" shows that it is still possible to make a fast billion, even in the post dot-com era.

(2) "Micro-ISV Development" shows that it is not just the programming that counts, but the basic design, implement, test life-cycle, and some of the tools that can help. We are also shown a couple of Walsh's own prototypes from his MasterList task & project management software.

(3) "The Product" is not just the application you have written. This chapter shows what else is involved, from icons to demos, domain names and websites (including blogs), and the all-important pricing and selling.

(4) "Business is Business" goes through the pros and cons of different sorts of businesses that can be set up in the USA (and also for the UK and Australia), copyright, licensing, and provides some tips on getting things done.

(5) "Focus on the Customer" includes marketing tips, technical support, and handling the vast amount of email that a Micro-ISV can receive, together with a round-up of tools to help with these tasks.

(6) "Welcome to your Industry" and, more to the point, how to cope with the big boys, indeed, how to get them to work for you. Walsh shows us round a few of Microsoft's programmes. He also shows us some of the peer-to-peer resources available to the budding Micro-ISV.

(7) "What Happens Next?" brings us a slew of interviews with various people who have also been down this road.

In summary, a useful handbook of how to set up a Micro-ISV, and how to keep it moving, and I look forward to seeing where Walsh goes next.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
I have a number of professional colleagues who have gone the route of becoming micro-ISVs or ISV (independent software vendors). While I know it's a lot of work, I don't think I realized exactly what all goes into that. Bob Walsh has what I would consider a "must read" title if you're in that area or thinking of going down that path... Micro-ISV: From Vision to Reality.

Contents: Having a Vision; Developing the Micro-ISV Way; Presenting the Product; Business is Business; Focusing on the Customer; Welcome to Your Industry; What Happens Next?; Appendix; Index

The fact I'm reading this doesn't mean I'm contemplating quitting my day job. :) Apress sent me the book and it looked interesting enough that it ended up in my backpack for reading while at work. What I found inside was a lot of wisdom and advice that can give the small entrepreneur a fighting chance to succeed on their own. Not only has Walsh traveled this path before, but he's enlisted the advice of a number of other successful micro-ISVs in the way of stories and interviews. The overall result is that you get an extremely realistic view of what you will encounter if you choose this path. He deals with everything from the motivation behind the decision to launch your own business, to best practices in setting up your development environment to lay the groundwork for future growth (and less headaches), to how coexist with the 800-pound gorilla in the room known as Microsoft. Even if you're not thinking of going independent, there are a number of websites he covers that are nearly worth the price of the book. For instance, there are sites where you can get stock photography to use to create nice websites (without paying a bundle in royalties). There are sites that cover the competitive landscape of your customers and competitors, which is just good business practice to follow regardless of who's writing your paycheck. He even talks about how you can set up automated feeds to scan for mentions of your site/company/product in news and blogs. Again, an excellent practice to follow for more than just small development companies.

This is one of those books that goes on a short "homework" pile for me. Now that I've read the book, I need to go back through it at my computer and bookmark the sites that grabbed my attention. And if I were ever to contemplate striking out on my own, my first task would be to re-read this book and start taking serious notes. It's money well spent to swing the odds in your favor. A recommended read...
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I only read half the book. Then why still rate it four stars?

Having my own ISV for over six years now I have arrived at the point of having 10 people in my staff and having experienced most things any startup will bump upon. Sometimes that makes you think you've seen it all by now, but this is an illusion.

No matter how many staff you have working for you, there will always be a Micro ISV within the company... you! Exept for any partners, no one will do your job of creating the company or product vision and has the same kind of commitment. Some would say that's sad to hear, but I think this is reality. You hire most people to complement you on your own skills, so most of the time don't expect the vision to come from them.

Going through this book I sometimes skipped some of the pages. Some things I knew just to well to read about again, some applied on starting your own business and some parts applied to US / UK law only. Still, I managed to gain a lot of knowledge, ideas and feedback from this book.

Thinking of starting your own ISV business? Then get this book first! Already a business owner with some experience under the belt? The pick your paragraphs and read what you have to. Great book, especially for ISV startups!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on September 23, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book is a great kick in the pants for all those who have dreamed of making millions by building software. I read it from cover to cover within days and have started reading it again and taking some serious notes. Before venturing into ISV-land, Walsh was a journalist so the book is very easy to read.

The book contains numerous interviews with people who have started their own ISVs which is this books strength and its weakness. It's great to hear from people who have been there and done it. And it is great to compare there stories and views. But by the end of the book you get the feeling that some were included merely to add a few more pages. Also, I wish these interviews weren't on a grey background - it makes them a little hard to read in low light.

Non-US customers should note the book does contain information on starting up outside the US but it is a little thin.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 15, 2006
Format: Paperback
I highly recommend this book for any one who is either contemplating or already embarked on the Micro-ISV journey. This is a very readable, inspirational and practical book. The chapters are well structured and define clear stages of the uISV process. I discovered many items of priceless information that I would have never known about if it were not for this book. In addition to all the information contained within the text there are many useful links to external resources relating to the material. The final chapter contains interviews with many uISVs at various stages of growth. This really helps to emphasise many of the key messages and themes discussed earlier in the book.

Since first reading the book I have already found myself returning to it again and again for reference. Congratulations to Bob Walsh for producing such an excellent book.

Samuel Warwick

[...]
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 26, 2007
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I read this book after about ten years of running my own ISV, and while there weren't any huge surprises, it still had a number of helpful items in it.

I like the fact that Bob goes into a number of useful tools (both software and otherwise), and that the book has lots of screenshots and graphics. The sidebars include lots of interviews, and while many of the people interviewed are obviously pushing their own products, it's always nice to be able to read many different perspectives in a single book.

It's a good overview of running a small software company - I recommend it.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 22, 2006
Format: Paperback
It's not frequent that one is able to find books that are so relevant to personal current endeavours. In the case of solo freelos like many of the ISVs are, the personal an professional boundaries are often blurred. This is a superb book full of hints, guidance and resources that will enrich your path to building a successful solo practice. Of course, it does not have a fail-safe formula or guaranteed approach. But it is a book that deals with all those uncharted waters you might have to face.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 11, 2006
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I am co-owner in a small software company and I found this book to be invaluable. It has nuts-and-bolts information that you just can't find anywhere else. I'm just upset that the author didn't write the book 2 years ago when we were starting out. It would have saved us a lot of time and money. Don't even think about starting a small sofware company without reading this book.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 21, 2007
Format: Paperback
I liked this book on the whole, as it covered the ground of building a small software business at an appropriate level of detail; he gives some good advice, has links to some good tools, (although as one review pointed out, this could get outdated very quickly as a result...Take note Bob Walsh...update often!) and backs up his assertions with both his own experience as a Micro-ISV and that of others who have 'walked the walk'. One thing I didn't like too much was that while he covers starting up a business in the US, UK and Australia, he missed Canada! I know that some of our systems are very similar to the US and UK both, but not exactly the same. This isn't a major drawback, as there are plenty of other books out there that can guide someone in this. In fact, were it up to me I'd suggest that he kill that section entirely, as it doesn't really add to the book in any way, (in fact it might detract from it, as he could have used the space to go into greater detail elsewhere, such as the chapter on development in a micro-isv.) One thing I did like however was his writing style. He writes in a very engaging manner; at times, it felt as though we were sitting down in a quite coffee shop discussing this stuff in person. I look forward to further titles on this topic from the author!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on April 28, 2006
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Did you know that certain companies offer a free single-developer-license, banking on business generated when you succeed ? Well *I* didn't, so the book has already paid for itself and I'm not done with chapter 2 yet !
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this also viewed
Eric Sink on the Business of Software (Expert's Voice)
Eric Sink on the Business of Software (Expert's Voice) by Eric Sink (Paperback - March 20, 2006)
$19.57


 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.

Your Recently Viewed Items and Featured Recommendations 
 

After viewing product detail pages, look here to find an easy way to navigate back to pages you are interested in.