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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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Top Customer Reviews
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.
**Update**: Since writing this review wayyy back when I've done quite a lot. I've started 2 companies, both of which have been fairly successful -- the largest of which is OpenCNAM (https://www.opencnam.com/), a very popular API service for software developers. I've also written two books, edited two more (for real publishers), and done quite a lot of hacking in between. It's been more than 5 years since I wrote this original review, but this is still my favorite book.
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.
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.
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!