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Start Small, Stay Small: A Developer's Guide to Launching a Startup Paperback – June 8, 2010
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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.
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Rob outlined what I believe to be some very fundamental ideas that anybody can put into practice immediately which will prove to be extremely valuable!
I think nowadays a lot of people believe they need a lot of money to start a business or prove a concept and this book turns that way of thinking completely on it's head. I'm guilty of thinking that way as I have been fascinated with watching shows like Shark Tank, the Profit and others that are very similar. Nowadays you hear about that big VC backed company on Tech Crunch and want to believe that that's the only way to get your startup off the ground. I even went to the extent of participating in an accelerator in the bay recently and while that was an amazing experience that taught me a lot, I've learned that getting an investment isn't the only way to get your company off the ground.
Since reading this book I've been able to test several ideas of my own (all within a month) for hardly any money (about $100) and am expecting to see a return on my investment very soon now.
Before this book I would built out an entire application (a very time consuming process) come to find out that it wouldn't work 6 months and several thousand dollars later.
This book has helped me avoid those pitfalls so I'm really glad I read it.
I HIGHLY recommend anybody looking to start an ecommerce, software, and even a traditional business read this book as a lot of the concepts still apply to traditional businesses.
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!
It’s especially helpful regarding use of Virtual Assistants. This might be his most important contribution. The seasoned and disciplined [post-learning curve] use of Virtual Assistants might save an entrepreneur thousands of hours and increase productivity by thousands of dollars. Seems to me, intelligent use of Virtual Assistants is a great money-saving and time-saving adjunct to the Lean Startup movement.
This book is also valuable for the collection of website citations for each of the subject areas covered. The book's links are worth the price of admission.
I require every book I read to change me, to teach me something I didn’t know before. Increasingly, today’s business literature delivers better than at any time before. This book changed me.
General principles are taught in this book but alongside practical applications, which translates into dollars. Start Small, Stay Small does that well.
Well, let me tell you, for me this book is a bit of a godsend. Once I started reading, I couldn't put it down and finished it in less than a week - highly uncommon for me. Not only does the book effectively help layout the strategy but some other topics that have been alluding me are much (VA's and outsourcing, how to really niche your market). The other thing that Rob does that similar books on the topic don't do as well is actually try to put some rough numbers on things, actionable concrete steps to get the ball rolling in certain areas and also paint the world through "less rose colored" glasses so you get a hunch as to what you're stepping into.
My only minor complaint is I'm wondering on the timeliness of some of the information. I found a link or two listed in the book no longer seem to be in service that are referenced in the book. I'm also not an SEO expert, but I get the impression that due to the ever changing landscape of SEO might mean some of the strategies listed are a little dated or may not work as well today. But again, I'm not an expert and I'm basing this solely on what I read in the book and comparing it to things I've heard at a high level from other sources out in the world.
Next step is to go put it into action and see how well that fares....