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Start Small, Stay Small: A Developer's Guide to Launching a Startup [Kindle Edition]

Rob Walling , Mike Taber
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $24.95
Kindle Price: $9.99
You Save: $14.96 (60%)

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Book Description

Start Small, Stay Small is a step-by-step guide to launching a self-funded startup. If you're a desktop, mobile or web developer, this book is your blueprint to getting your startup off the ground with no outside investment.

This book intentionally avoids topics restricted to venture-backed startups such as: honing your investment pitch, securing funding, and figuring out how to use the piles of cash investors keep placing in your lap.

This book assumes:

* You don't have $6M of investor funds sitting in your bank account
* You're not going to relocate to the handful of startup hubs in the world
* You're not going to work 70 hour weeks for low pay with the hope of someday making millions from stock options

There's nothing wrong with pursuing venture funding and attempting to grow fast like Amazon, Google, Twitter, and Facebook. It just so happened that most people are not in a place to do this.


Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Rob Walling believes we are at an unprecedented time in history where developers are able to change the world with their software. His blog, SoftwareByRob.com is read by thousands of software entrepreneurs every month. Rob is based in Fresno, CA.

Product Details

  • File Size: 641 KB
  • Print Length: 214 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0615373968
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: The Numa Group, LLC; 1 edition (August 4, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003YH9MMI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #90,798 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm a programmer. I really love writing software, both personally and professionally. I've always wanted to start my own software business, but have never had the willpower in myself to make it happen.

Rob's book has totally changed that.

This book is an excellent resource for any developer who wants to start their own business. I feel like Rob was writing directly to me when he wrote this, as he answers my questions one at a time in order, and leaves me wondering nothing.

The book contains practical advice for planning your business, starting it, marketing it, and running with it post-launch. It also discusses what to do once you've grown your business (do you want to automate it? sell it?).

After reading Rob's book, I couldn't help but feel empowered. The practical, logical advice presented in this book is a great tool for any programmer who wants to start their own business. Follow these principles, use your skill set, and you can't go wrong.

Rob, if you're reading this, thanks for writing this book.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars To all developers: stop developing November 15, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The main thing I got from the book: stop writing code.

The author explains in a convincing way why an Internet startup is not about coding but about founding a great niche, building a product that executes at a plateau and make it run automatically. And repeat this proces to be serial startup founder. Nr 1 lesson: Out-source your manual tasks to virtual assistants.

The book goes into depth, how to build sustainable traffic for your website and how to validate your businessplan before spending months building.

The book is written in a blog-like reader friendly style. Short paragraphs and without unneccessary fluff.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
By Jeremy
Format:Paperback
If you've ever looked into turning a software idea into a viable product, this book is a great guide. Clear and simple descriptions with a little humor mixed in make it easy to turn a few pages into action items. You'll read through once to know what you are in for and then use the book as a constant reference to keep you moving in the right direction. This book won't tell you what the right decision for your product is, but it will help force you to ask yourself good questions to make decisions with better information. With so many unknowns in launching your own product, it makes it a little less scary to have a simple blueprint to follow to make sure you stay focused, spend your time wisely, and don't miss important facets to make your product successful. Even if you decide to wait on launching your own product, the advise in the book will be helpful as a consultant, employee, and even in your life outside of work.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
This book goes against the common thinking that you have to build the next big web app, receive millions of dollars in funding, and then get bought out by Google. Instead of an all-or-nothing approach, Rob describes from his real-world experiences how a portfolio of niche software products and websites added up can allow you to make a great living doing what you love. As developers, many ways of how we think are challenged, but make sense when focusing on profit and freeing up time. Emphasize marketing before product development. Test a market before investing too much on building. Outsource to virtual assistants and possibly other developers. Rob has around 10 products at any given time himself, each with their own unique situations on how they were built, bought and/or managed, and he uses them as case studies throughout the book. If you're like me you'll be taking tons of notes and referencing the myriad of links and resources it has as you start building out your software ideas.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very practical and worth it's price in ideas alone February 14, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Great read. The author does a nice mix of adding the basics of marketing with specific information for software developers. But don't shy away from this book if you are not selling software online. This book is a must read for ANYONE who is starting a small online business and needs to market their product/website. Period.

I have made many notes and plan on going back through this book a few times to squeeze out every idea and work it into my business plan(s).

And when I say the author has added the basics of marketing - it is distilled down to something actionable. This information is very similar to information that I personally have learned in those very expensive 4-day marketing workshops. Little things like dollarizing your product's worth / your time. Settings goals. Writing them down. And many other classic teachings condensed into something fun to read.

Add to that [solid marketing info] modern examples and tool referrences and you have a book that very current. Specific current online marketing techniques are reviewed. He even breaks down effective ways to design your website for maximum conversion.

If you're still not sure... Google the book's title and you will be able to download/sample the first chapter for free. That's what hooked me! Or save yourself the hassle and buy it now!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read for the developer startup February 22, 2011
Format:Paperback
Like other reviewers, I'm a big fan of the 37 signals' books like Rework. But what sets Rob apart is providing actionable advice to get started on. He lays out how to get started and actual steps to take. I sincerely appreciated the focus on marketing and getting started early. For those of you that assume that you're going to launch your product and just wait for sales, think again! I can't recommend this book enough. The audio version on Rob's website is excellent as well!

For those that look to further their education, I also highly recommend checking out the podcast by Rob Walling and Mike Taber titled "Startups for the Rest of Us".
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth the read
It's a good book. There's good amount of pragmatic advice built into this which will help especially starting entrepreneurs avoid some of the strategically failing approaches when... Read more
Published 25 days ago by Objective observer
5.0 out of 5 stars Efficient read
Direct, too the point, no bs. Advice is not vague. Actionable. It's a short, quick, read, and worth the time and money.
Published 2 months ago by scribble
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolute must for every startup, especially for solo technical...
Rob has done a great job here. Very sincere, very concise and full of practical advises. This is not the typical business MBA-type book, strongly recommending.
Published 2 months ago by Kosta Hristov
4.0 out of 5 stars An complete guide to start business
This book is a complete guide to start a business project if you have plans to start this project as a side project and/or bootstrapping. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Osvaldo Santana Neto
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth every penny
Thoroughly enjoyed this book. The values it teaches can be applied at all levels. This will have to go on the shelf for a re-read 12 months from now.
Published 3 months ago by Derick Potgieter
4.0 out of 5 stars The only book you need to bootstrap a startup
One of the best books on starting a startup I have ever read. I have bought and read both Eric Ries' The Lean Startup and Steve Blank's The Startup Owner's Manual and while they... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Christoffer Ekeroth
5.0 out of 5 stars "Evergreen" advice for solo software developers
Define your goals. Find a niche. Market first. Consider outsourcing your coding.

Running a successful software business is about much more than being a successful... Read more
Published 6 months ago by C. McGivney
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book
This is arguably one of the best books I have read about starting a company from a small business perspective. Read more
Published 7 months ago by CarpeDiem
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for the Solo Entrepreneur
Forget trying to build the next Facebook, Google, or any other venture that requires major traction, lots of startup funding, and an army of programmers. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Mark P.
5.0 out of 5 stars Start Small, Stay Small changed my perspective.
A great book. It offers a practical roadmap to becoming a successful independent developer. It's also a “how to” compendium of advice for online marketing, including Search Engine... Read more
Published 10 months ago by R. Keenan Davis
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