Customer Reviews: Software That Sells: A Practical Guide to Developing and Marketing Your Software Project
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on July 11, 2006
It is clear from the beginning that the book has appeal, since it addresses a much-coveted, yet requently under-serviced body of knowledge. I bought the book because the foreward, table of contents and back page met my needs and read well. Unfortunately, I feel that the book does not deliver. Ultimately, for such a meaty subject as this and the bold claims made, I was expecting fresh answers to tough questions. However not only were my needs not met, I often found the author passing off rudimentary conclusions as good advice. When the direction of a software venture is in your hands, you are expecting a little more than 'find it and fix it' as the solution to 'there is a show-stopping bug in your final release'. I'm afraid that is not the kind of expert advice one expects when investing in a text such as this. I actually returned this book due to my disappointment - and I have not been motivated to do that for many years! P.S. On a side note, the author's sentence structure does not scan very well and I found myself reading the more colloquial passages several times over. There are also several spelling mistakes (including 'course code' instead of 'source code', which can only happen when using spell-check without a human proof-reader).
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on August 8, 2007
Software that Sells is a great tool for anybody who has questions about effective and proven ways to market and develop your software project, literally from start to finish. Having read the book cover to cover, I continue to utilize it for advice, input and tips from each relevant section. Currently I am working marketing an IT project, so I am not on the development side of the company. However, Hasted's sections on programming and development were extremely helpful for understanding these processes and how they directly affect the marketing efforts. I have shared much of this valuable information to other departments at my organization.
This book was most helpful to me because it covers many topics related to software development and implementation, where my knowledge and experience within the software industry is very limited. It is a great overview of the processes involved and helps me appreciate the roles my colleagues do. This book is the equivalent to having a co-worker with 20 years of experience in an ever-changing industry, who is more than happy to give you advice on everything from marketing through development.

I believe this book would be most helpful to small businesses or individual entrepreneurs whose strengths may lie in a specific area (programming) but lack in others (marketing, company set-up, sales, etc.). However it can equally be used by any software company looking for new methods, tips, and tricks on managing staff, marketing, and sales. It's a compendium of check-lists and reminders.
This book is a quick read, as well as a great tool that should be kept in the office for years to come. Hasted will have you laughing with his unique sense of humor throughout the book (I never knew software could be funny!).
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on April 26, 2008
Before I read this book, I have read Micro ISV by Bob Walsh. As many would opt for that book first, I found this book much more compelling.

Being a software entrepreneur for several years now took me ahead of Micro ISV. I found the book very comprehensive and detailed for people who want to start their own business and get a jump-start into the world of computer business. I recognized a lot of the writings and it was fun to read again. Don't get me wrong, there is a lot to be taught from that book even when you're in business for over five years, but I skipped half te book because of this.

Now with Software that Sells, I read 75 percent of the book, even though I normally read them in full. This book does not only teaches you on developing and marketing your own product, it also 'tickles' your drive to make your product the best there is on the market. This book caught me at the right spot, at the right time, as we're in the final phase of a huge software development project. I am sure this book has made our product even better.

You want to start-up your own ISV? Grab Micro ISV. You want to play in the big league? First read Micro ISV and move on to a copy of Software that Sells.
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on July 4, 2007
This book covers a tremendous amount of material, from code development, to market research, to employee relations, even how to sell your company after it becomes a success. Unfortunately, few subjects are covered in any depth, and even fewer offer any insights beyond the obvious. I will be returning this book. I suggest instead Micro-ISV: From Vision to Reality, which is the best I've found for the coder trying to sell their software on the Web.
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So you think you're ready to become the next Microsoft? OK... Perhaps you just want to sell some software as a one-man band. You'll do much better at it all if you first read Software That Sells - A Practical Guide to Developing & Marketing Your Software Project by Edward Hasted.

Contents: How Winners Spot Winners; What Successful People Ask; Plan For Success; I Want To Work Here!; Raising Cash and Kind; Development; How Not to Reinvent the Wheel; Programming without Tears; Squashing Bugs and the Source; Scoring with Words; Before You Say "Go!" - The Release Process; Setting Up a Company; Pitching The Price; Promoting Your Product; Going For Higher Volumes; Successful Selling; How to Keep Customers; Plugging the Hole in the Boat; Handling Growth; Preparing for Further Success; Search Engine Optimization (or Winner Takes All); Index

There are a lot of nice areas of this book. A significant part of the first section could be good advice for *any* software development effort. It doesn't matter whether you're producing internal or external software... squashing bugs, managing source, and best practices in development don't change. They just become more obvious when your bad code gets released into the wild. As you move deeper into the book, you get into more "running the business" chapters that cover how to turn your "big software idea" into a business that actually makes money and provides a living for you (and potentially others). Most software developers don't have a clue as to how a business runs. They just figure that if the software is great, people will buy it. It *can* happen, but it rarely does. If you learn how to make the right decisions early on (or how to hire someone who can), then you stand a chance to avoid being a casualty in the business world.

Just one funny aside... The writer is British, and there are quite a few times when the phrasing or the wording is something that isn't familiar to an American audience... I'm guessing that I shouldn't be offended when I'm the "piggy in the middle"... I may not be happy about it, however... :)

Good book, and a definite recommended read if you're looking to move your development efforts into a money-making business for 1 or 100 (or more).
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on July 12, 2007
Whether you are already in business or considering how to get started, this book contains ideas that will set you thinking!

The advice offered here covers a range of subjects offering a substantially comprehensive spectrum of considerations and options for a successful business start-up or for those suffering business growing pains or shortcomings. I found it to be both well written and thought provoking.

The wide range of subject matter is an extremely useful starting point and the conclusions and helpful suggestions therein direct the reader towards further in-depth reading where appropriate.

The English author Ed Hasted has an impressive linguistic style which I found amusing and he has written a book that is way more useful and difficult to put down than one would expect a book of this type to be.
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on July 4, 2009
I read this book in the hope of discovering some words of wisdom regarding the marketing and development of software. Unfortunatley, the book contains very little business, selling or marketing advice that is specific to software, as opposed to any other industry.

While the book talks at length about the process of developing, releasing and maintaining software, little of it is new or not obvious to anyone with even a couple of years experience in IT.

Chapter eight, titled "Programming without Tears", has absolutely nothing about developing software, and instead has sections devoted to office politics, pay structures, and headhunters.

The subject matter has great potential, but the book lacks insightful advice specific to the software industry.
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on September 7, 2011
Great book and fresh copy. No wear and tear. Delivery earlier than expected :) Thanks Amazon for great service and product. Godbless.
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