Bob Walsh has followed up his excellent MicroISV: From Vision to Reality book with The Web Startup Success Guide. While the first book is aimed squarely at at developers of desktop software, the second is aimed more at web-based start-ups. I have to confess, I haven’t had time to read my review copy of the accompanying e-book yet (I’m moving house, moving office and putting out a major new software release). But I see from the contents it includes chapters on:
- the idea
- choosing a platforms
- fund raising
- social media
- getting the message across
And interviews with
- Dharmesh Shah
- Eric Sink
- Joel Spolsky
- Pamela Slim
- Guy Kawasaki
- …and others
If it is anything like as good as Bob’s MicroISV book, it will be worth a read by anyone doing (or thinking of doing) a web-based start-up. It is currently $19.79 on Amazon.com. You can also buy the e-book from Apress. Here are some reviews from people that have actually read it:
I have just finished reading “Blog Blazers, 40 top bloggers share their secrets to creating a high-profile, high-traffic and high-profit blog” the new book by the indefatigable Stephane Grenier of followsteph.com.
The bloggers interviewed are a diverse group, blogging on everything from personal finance to fashion. It also includes interviews with a number of software-related bloggers: Jeff Atwood, Ian Landsman, Patrick McKenzie, Dharmesh Shah[sic], Eric Sink, Rob Walling, Bob Walsh and yours truly. Stephane also interviews himself, which must have been a strange experience.
Each of the interviewees was asked a standard list of questions. Some of the questions are more interesting than others. For example the question “What makes a blog successful according to you” resulted in 40 minor variations on “It depends”. But there is a wealth of useful information for bloggers, beginner or veteran. It will take me a long time to work my way through the many links and digest it all. I might even end up buying The elements of style by Strunk and White, which is recommended several times.
Stephane has done a great job of pulling together interviews from such a wide range of bloggers, including A-list blogging celebrities such as Seth Godin. I was very flattered to be included. At $16.95 I would certainly recommend this book to anyone who writes a blog, or is thinking of writing a blog. You can buy the book and/or ebook online from blogblazers.com. The book is also available from amazon.com.
As an interviewee I received some free copies and I am giving away two of them. If you would like one, please add your email address in a comment below. I suggest you obfuscate it to avoid spam-bot harvesting e.g. me [at] domain.com . I will pick two at random on Friday 21st Nov.
Publishers of technical software books and magazines seem to struggling against the relentless onslaught of the Internet, crushed between the twin rocks of rapidly changing technology and free online content. In a recent .NET Rocks! podcast, accomplished technical author Charles Petzold (of Programming Windows fame) discusses the grim commercial realities of writing technical software books in the 21st century. It doesn’t sound good. His recent 3D programming for Windows book took 8 months to write and has sold less than 4,000 copies worldwide. As he gets royalties of around $3 per copy sold (less when sold outside the US), this equates to less than $12,000 for 8 months work. He could have made around $9,000 flipping burgers for minimum wage over the same period. Ouch.
 Assuming 40 hours per week.