Book Review: Start Small, Stay Small

11/15/2010

I just finished reading Start Small, Stay Small: A Developer’s Guide to Launching a Startup by Rob Walling and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It struck me as The Four Hour Work Week with most of the fluff/exaggeration stripped out and presented from a developer’s perspective. I generally rate business books by how much they inspire me to start working, and by that rubric this one’s a winner.

Start Small, Stay Small does an excellent job of explaining what is necessary to run a software business to a developer who may think that creating the product is all that needs to be done. The book’s short length and the avoidance of unnecessary filler makes the information (at least feel) much more actionable than advice I have read in other books.

Business books in the software world seem to be mostly focused around the venture capital driven, make it huge types of companies but this book presents an alternative plan; one that is more realistic for the average developer. The options of bootstrapping a company and then growing it larger, or just creating a small, self-sustaining business and going on to found another are presented along with reasons why each one should be chosen. Even if your goal is to build a gigantic company, the information on marketing in this book could prove invaluable.

In short, I found this book to be exactly what it advertised; a blueprint to getting a startup off the ground for a developer.

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