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Eric Sink on the Business of Software

By Eric Sink

Published by Apress 2006

ISBN: 1-59059-623-4


It’s been said that writing software well is a complex task and running a business well is equally complex (at least in my eyes). For someone to span both realms and speak about them with authority and experience is a pretty sweet deal…and Eric Sink does just that.


Two things I’ve enjoyed since my younger days were programming and the idea of running a business. In my youthful days mixing the two were never considered. I always stuck to “hobbyist” programming and in my DECA competitions and courses in high school always focused on more traditional business ideas including some that were ahead of their time but that’s a different story and so back to our book review!


Eric Sink is a man who’s succeeded at both – not only in developing pretty cool software, but also creating and maintaining a successful business. This book gives you insight into how he’s done it – with plenty of experience and “notes from the field” which I found highly useful and timely considering I’m reading this book as I’m trying to launch my own software business venture.


For the “more frugal” among you, note that this book is basically a collection of his writings which can be found on his blog at ,but I for one enjoyed having the book to read since the book organizes things nicely and besides as much as I enjoy computers, it’s nice to get away from them for a time (ducks!).


Part One of the book is an introductory text on Entrepreneurship in general. He explores the concept of starting your own company, financing your small company and introduces his concept of a Micro-ISV. If you’re purely a tech person looking to get started in the business of software, this is a good place to start to see if you should even consider making such a move…you may decide differently after reading some things.


Part Two focuses on People…that is the people making up your company whether it’s just you in the beginning or as you grow and decide to hire additional people to work with your company. I particularly enjoyed the essays about hiring developers over programmers and Great Hacker != Great Hire. Since the right people can easily make or break a young company, this section was filled with some very thought provoking material…even for say a department head or lead developer who is looking to grow their team versus growing a business outright.


Parts Three and Four get to the more meaty parts of running your business, Marketing and Sales which incidentally can be some of the scarier parts of running a business – after all you’ve *got* the technology side down, right? ;)


There were many sections here where I found myself thinking I needed to revisit my own business plan and update accordingly, particularly in Choosing my Competition (Ch. 16), and Geek Gauntlets (Ch. 18). The Product Pricing Primer in Chapter 24 also highlighted some areas where I need to re-evaluate things.


All in all I’m glad to have discovered this book. It came to me at a time when my business is still young enough to learn from and incorporate some changes based on my readings in this book which will hopefully put me in a position one day to pass on lessons learned to others looking to make that leap into the business of software.

Posted on Monday, October 30, 2006 10:09 PM Book Reviews | Back to top

Comments on this post: Book Review – Eric Sink on the Business of Software

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We had Eric out to speak at our big annual user group meeting a couple months ago, and he was absolutely *Excellent*! What a truly great guy. I learned alot.
Left by Lorin Thwaits on Oct 31, 2006 6:49 AM

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