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Eric Sink on the Business of Software (Expert's Voice) 2006th Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1590596234
ISBN-10: 1590596234
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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.
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Product Details

  • Series: Expert's Voice
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Apress; 2006 edition (March 20, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590596234
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590596234
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.7 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #862,498 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Thomas Duff HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on April 20, 2006
Format: Paperback
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...

Contents:

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

Index

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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Format: Paperback
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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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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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. Maybe because it was mostly common sense.

My issue with Sink is that about half way through the book he gets on the pedestal about how Software Developers are a higher form of life than EVERYBODY else.

It got to the point that every few pages he would insult me for choosing any profession other than Software Developer. Well, Sink, guess what? Not all Software Developers can run a company with only other Software Developers. In fact, that really sounds like a recipe for disaster.

The ultra nerdy software his company makes is for other nerds, and not for the general population. Thus, Sink believes that every vertical is just like his own, which is interesting. It is interesting that Sink did not see that. And why the software he did make for the general public was a flop. Winnable Solitare is the name of the flop.

I guess being a Software Developer does not make one a perfect man god, but you would never know if from reading this book.

If they could edit the book and delete all the insults, and replace those pages (there should be more than enough pages saved) with more information about the other aspects of the business, it would be a five star book.

Sink, you are a jerk who is too high on himself.
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