{Free Reading} From Program to Product: Turning Your Code into a Saleable Product (Expert's Voice) Author Rocky Smolin – Andy-palmer.co.uk

From Program to Product: Turning Your Code into a Saleable Product (Expert's Voice) Mr Smolin s book isn t for the Sergei Brins or the Linus Torvalds of the world If you think that the author is going to reveal the most sure fire software development environment that will have the greatest chance of acceptance in the marketplace, you d better look elsewhere Actually, there IS no elsewhere because there is no such source that can deliver on such a claim.Those that think that Mr Smolin should have shown Java or C examples in his book are entirely missing the point this is a book that shows EVERY factor a developer should consider BEFORE releasing his much beloved software to an unsuspecting public The development environment particulars have no bearing on the business of selling software Do you really believe that a jewelry shop looking for something to help keep track of all the parts needed for jewelry design really cares one way or another whether your program is written in C or Cobol If you re looking at this book for guarantees, you won t find any Software writing is a business, and anyone that indulges in wishful thinking is lost right from the start You may think some feature you ve written is just the coolest thing you ve ever seen, but it may be the one thing that annoys a potential buyer so much that he ll pass your cool program right by without a second thought.The 67 pages of interviews take up about a third of this book I was charmed, informed, and bemused by them all at once The interviews in this book read like direct transcripts from the tapes There seems to be little editing nothing, say, like Ten Questions for Lotta Miles in People Magazine But the flow is very natural and Mr Smolin makes an engaging interviewer I think he felt it important to devote such a large portion of his book to the interviews because it serves up a huge dollop of authenticity.None of his interview subjects have household names Sure, an interview with the founders of Google or with Bill Gates would certainly have increased the general public s interest in this book and helped the sales considerably But what do you really expect from an interview with a top flight software developer that hasn t been seen before The people that are likely to buy this book will appreciate interviews with people that made a go of it by selling small, targeted software products to limited markets That s going to make a heck of a lot sense to developers looking to target small markets with their software products The secret to success in software development is the same as it is in every business work hard, pay attention to what your customers say, get the details right, work hard, keep promoting your product, make sure to have enough capital at the start and keep your fiscal house in order, keep up with your taxes, work continuously on improvements to your product, work hard, watch your competitors like a hawk, don t let yourself become discouraged, keep on top of your billing, don t borrow too much money, and work hard.Mr Smolin s book covers them all If you don t have a head for business, this book isn t really going to give you one Well, NO book is going to give you that, all the thousands of business oriented book titles to the contrary.But what this book DOES give you is believe it or not a step by step guide to bringing your software to market There isn t anything magical here No, let me re phrase that there IS magic here, magic in the down to earth principles that Mr Smolin writes about so clearly Yes, you ve heard them a hundred times, but have you drawn them to your bosom and made them a part of your everyday life If you want to know what this book is really all about, take these words from the section in Chapter 1 called What This Book is Really About , contemplate them, absorb them, and realize that there really is no other way This book is really about getting to your first day in business It is about taking that raw idea you have for a program and creating a saleable product And setting up the support system you need to make your business hum If you re going to do this thing, you have to be ready for some tough days But nothing worthwhile ever comes easy Sometimes what it really takes is stupid, blind obstinacy the drive to keep going, stubbornly solving one problem at a time until you get the brass ring The magic comes from what Judith Martin calls the alchemy of the spirit the realization that you can, indeed, make a go of it if you just keep at it with stupid, blind obstinacy , keeping your eye on the road ahead Why should success involve anything than what other successful people have done to become successful Here, in brief, are most of the steps that Mr Smolin covers 1 Define your product2 Analyze it and create a system specification3 Build in security4 Design5 Make program navigation consistent and smooth6 Choose a platform7 Decide whether to write it yourself or hire someone8 Consider deeply the point of view of the user9 Test9a Test some 9b Keep testing10 Pricing and pricing options11 Business considerations that lead to success12 Financing options13 Legal issues copyright and ownership14 The business type sole propietor, corporation, etc.15 Insurance16 Software piracy17 When to stop programming and sell the product18 Writing a manual19 Packaging20 Going one step at a timeSome of these things are treated or less in the form of to do items on a checklist, such as insurance You won t find a list of the best software product insurers in the land in this bookit s just another one of those things you must deal with if you re actually going to make a business out of your brilliant software.Smolin s style has a light touch, particularly in the interviews If you re somebody with little to no sense of humor, then this isn t the book for you If you believe that business topics should be treated with seriousness and stodgy attention to every last stinking detail, then this isn t the book for you.Not that it s a laugh riot, mind you Smolin slips in the persiflage at the right moments, I think, to keep you mindful of the fact that business can be fun and that a bit of humor helps you overcome the self doubt that can come with the inevitable business setbacks.In From Program to Product , Smolin treats the building of a software business, with all the attendant worries, obstacles, and triumphs, as if he s giving you advice as a very close friend who really wants you to do well I truly wish that I d had this book when I started my own software business I d still be in it and thriving. This Book Is Not A General Software Business Reference, Like Our MicroISV Book Or The Eric Sink Book It S Specifically For Readers Who Have An Existing Project, Or An Idea For One, And Want To Turn It Into A Product They Can Follow This Book For The Best Chance Of Success It Is Written In A Non Technical, Friendly, Conversational Style, And Is Filled With Excerpts, Advice, And War Stories From Someone Who S Been In The Trenches For Years

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