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The Web Startup Success Guide (Books for Professionals by Professionals) 1st Corrected ed. 2009. Corr. 2nd printing 2009 Edition

24 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1430219859
ISBN-10: 1430219858
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Bob Walsh is the founder of 47Hats, a consulting firm/blog/startup dedicated to helping startups succeed, the author of Micro-ISV: From Vision to Reality, podcaster-in-chief of the Startup Success Podcast, co-moderator of the Joel on Software's Business of Software forum, and creator of StartupToDo.com, a online productivity app and community for startup and microISVs.

At his company, Safari Software, Inc., Bob was a contract software developer for more than 20 years before launching, selling and ultimately selling off a Windows personal task manager commercial application. Before getting into information technology, Walsh was a reporter for several news organizations, the most worth bragging about being United Press International (UPI).

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Product Details

  • Series: Books for Professionals by Professionals
  • Paperback: 440 pages
  • Publisher: Apress; 1st Corrected ed. 2009. Corr. 2nd printing 2009 edition (July 27, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1430219858
  • ISBN-13: 978-1430219859
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,532,098 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

My name is Bob Walsh (bob.walsh@47hats.com), and I believe that startups and microISVs (one-person software companies) represent the future of the global software industry and of the billion-person Internet to which we are all now connected. I believe this so strongly that this is my fifth book on the subject.

My previous books are Micro-ISV: From Vision to Reality (Apress, 2006), Clear Blogging (Apress, 2007), MicroISV Sites That Sell! (ebook, 2008), and The Twitter Survival Guide, with Kristen Nicole (ebook, 2008).

In addition, I do a podcast with cohost Pat Foley (The Startup Success Podcast, at http://startuppodcast.wordpress.com) and write a blog (47 Hats, at http://47hats.com). I also comoderate Joel Spolsky's Business of Software forum (http://discuss.joelonsoftware.com/default.asp?biz).

My day job is consulting with startups and microISVs on how to increase their sales by better explaining their software on their web sites. But my real job since 2007 has been to recreate myself from a Windows desktop developer into a Rails web developer so that I can build and launch a superior way for startups to succeed: StartupToDo (http://startuptodo.com).

Before getting into all of the foregoing, I was a custom software developer for 20-plus years, and before that a reporter. I like what I'm doing now a lot more than either of those past careers!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

54 of 61 people found the following review helpful By T U on September 13, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This should be a couple of blog entries in a B+ blog, not a $20 book.

The book is not only badly written, it does not hardly any useful content either. Everything said here should be obvious to any person who has lived for any time near any web business. The author has unnecessarily made the book fat by having many long interviews with his friends - most of them add little to the content .

If you find this book useful - you should ask if you are the right person to run a business and perhaps spend sometime learning "basic business stuff" first.

Here is my recap of content:
* Chapter 1: Introduction: Funding a web startup today is easier than ever and many options exist including self-funding (duh!!)
* Chapter 2: Create value. There is no shortage of just "ideas" (duh, again !!)
* Chapter 3 & 4: There are lot of tools available to you like SaaS platforms, open source cms and local meetup groups (duh, duh ,duh !!)
* Chapter 5 is about raising money. It is filled with meaningless generalizations ("raising money is like falling in love") - none of them of much use.
* Chapter 6 is about social media. More generic stuff. Nothing said here is so remarkable that you cannot find it online - just google "how to market on social media" and just read the top 5 links. you will be WAY AHEAD of this book.
* Chapter 7 - The summary is - You need to be clear about what your USP is (duh !!)
* Chapter 8 - A long chapter on GTD methodology. There is no reason for it to be in this book. If GTD is your way, read a book on GTD.
* Chapter 9 - a needlessly long chapter about author's recommendation of 6 blogs to read.

Throw this book in fireplace - that will be more useful.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Anton on November 1, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book based on excellent reviews in hope that it would help me to know what and how to do to start my own web business. But "Web Startup Success Guide" turned out to be just a list of general and obvious recommendations with a vast amount of ads of various on-line tools, including author's own "Startup To-Do".

No real help, too long to be read in a spare time, typographic quality is too low. I'm deeply disappointed with this book.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Josua Partogi on February 14, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I don't find this book really useful. Why? Because everything written in this book can be easily searched from the internet. The information is not covered in depth. I also find that the book does not offer new thoughts or concept that I will need to start a web startup business.
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Format: Paperback
Where do I start. It seems like the authors claim to fame is that he has a successful small business teaching other small business's how to be successful. Did I miss something here? 90% of the book is just ads/informercials for companies which I assumed paid the author some money to appear in his book. Think of this book like a yellow pages for starting up your own company. The only difference is that the yellow pages is free. Everything in this book can be found just by googling.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Maxim Ischenko on November 11, 2009
Format: Paperback
The book reads like a compilation from different online sources and interviews. The interviews are often interesting but this kind of content is easy to find online, for free. There not many author's insights on how to do this or that to achieve web startup success.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Charles Chan on March 30, 2012
Format: Paperback
This is the first time that I have written a review on Amazon but I felt compelled to do so because of the negative reviews below. I cannot help but think that they were either written by someone with a personal vendetta or someone that never actually read the book.

I got so much out of the book that I feel that I owe it to Robert Walsh to write this to thank him for a brilliant book.

I am a very slow reader with a very short attention span and for me to read a book of over 400 pages means there was definitely something worth reading in there - trust me.

Fantastic book all round which gave me so many useful ideas for my own web start up ventures - there is no other book on the market that deals so specifically with the topic of starting up a web business - it does exactly what it says on the tin and more.

My hat goes off to the author - bravo and thank you!
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Mark Roseman on July 22, 2009
Format: Paperback
Let's start with the bottom line first. If you're interested in, considering, or currently involved in any kind of small (1-5ish person) tech startup, get this book. The investment in terms of price, and more importantly your time, will be easily recouped many times over. From that point of view, it's a no-brainer.

If you're familiar with Bob's other books, you know what to expect in terms of style and approach. You'll first of all find in depth, well-written and engaging discussions about a number of topics: how to identify the problem your startup will solve (its value), the newly expanded world of modern technology platforms, valuable tools and organizations, raising money, leveraging social media, creating and delivering your message, and startup productivity issues.

Targeted to a technology but not business savvy audience, this is a reasonable selection of topics to cover. Obviously it's not exhaustive, but it does draw attention to the areas where technology people tend to have the biggest blind spots, which is really the point - to get people thinking about those areas that they otherwise wouldn't.

The quality of how each topic was covered varied a bit. Some were excellent - the choice and tradeoffs of platforms, defining your problem, social media and crafting your message (two areas covered in more detail in previous ebooks he's written, but summarized well here). The money chapter, an area that Bob freely admits is outside his personal experience, I found asked far too basic questions (perhaps something most techies need, but even then it doesn't take them far enough, and they really need professional help) and doesn't deal heavily enough with the "costs" of raising money (e.g.
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