Entries Tagged 'About this Blog' ↓

How Can Software by Rob Better Serve You?

Photo by arquera

I posted last week about the enormous value of the information I received from surveying my DotNetInvoice customers through survey.io.

Today I want to ask you the same 7 questions, but in reference to this blog. Your answers will no doubt shape the future of what happens here.

You can answer anonymously at:


“Start Small, Stay Small” Now Available in Kindle and ePub Formats

When I originally published Start Small, Stay Small: A Developer’s Guide to Launching a Startup, my intention was to follow up the PDF and paperback versions with Kindle, iBook and ePub versions. That plan went by the wayside once I discovered there was no automated way to go from a Word doc to these formats.

After contacting a half-dozen ebook conversion firms I found a company that turned the Kindle and ePub versions around in two days, although the Kindle version required three rounds of QA over the course of 10 days before it was ready to be published. So 12 days and a few hundred dollars later I now have the necessary hand-coded files.

Kindle, Here I Come
So as of this morning, Start Small, Stay Small is now available in Kindle format from the Amazon website, and PDF & ePub format from the startup book website.

If you’ve already purchased the book in PDF you should have received an email with a link to download the ePub version. If you haven’t, email me.

The paperback version is also available from both startup book and Amazon, but buy it from startup book (you can pay through Amazon or PayPal) since Amazon takes more than half the revenue off the top. The economics of book publishing are pretty crazy when not selling direct to the consumer.

Speaking of that, the Kindle commission is 35% of the purchase price. That’s what Amazon pays me. Ouch! As soon as you price your book above $9.99 your commission plummets from 70% to 35% of the retail price. Now I understand why the big book publishers were having such a fit about Amazon essentially forcing them into this pricing bracket.

Bye Bye iBook
At this point it does not look like the iBook version will come to fruition.

For one, you need a Mac to publish a book to the iTunes store.

For two, the handful of iPad owners I’ve talked to indicated they use the Kindle app to read books on their iPad. Apparently, the iBook app isn’t that great and the iBook selection is small. Go figure.

Two Recent Press Appearances: Inc.com and the TechZing Podcast

As if this blog weren’t enough…

If you’re interested in hearing more of my rantings on startups, startup marketing, and even a few minutes on internet business investing, check out my two most recent interviews:

The Successful Soloist: How to Make Six Figures

Rob Walling & the Micropreneur Academy

Also, if you read this blog via RSS and haven’t been to the actual site in a while, I’ve made several changes that might be of interest to you. They include:

Keep your eyes peeled for a new post tomorrow morning. Should be a good one. I’m preparing myself for the flames as I write this.

The Warren Buffett of Websites

I’ve embraced a concept that involves investing in websites like real estate. Not “website flipping” as the press seems to categorize anything to do with buying or selling websites, but taking a long-term approach to finding income-generating web properties and building a portfolio.

Think Warren Buffett’s buy-and-hold approach vs. speculation (aka “flipping”).

This is different from building apps yourself, and also different than Micropreneurship.  Micropreneurs tend to own microISVs, whereas this new concept…this Internet Business Investor might own e-commerce sites, ebooks, and AdWords sites. He looks at websites purely as investments.

This investor builds a portfolio to hedge a downturn in any one property, and to build a sustainable income source, since a single small website is unlikely to generate substantial income.

The idea is to “buy” yourself freedom to do what you want by building equity in web properties (as opposed to doing this through real estate, which is the more common path).

With that said, and realizing this is not about building applications but solely about buying, rehabbing and holding web properties to build a passive income stream with the goal of personal freedom…do you have any interest in that topic?

The reason I ask is that I’m considering starting a separate (totally free) blog or podcast on this subject. If you are interested, please let me know:

I’ll email you once or twice as it shapes up to keep you in the loop. Again, I’m not going to charge for this.

“Start Small, Stay Small: A Developer’s Guide to Launching a Startup” is Now Available in Paperback and PDF

After much toil, my book Start Small, Stay Small: A Developer’s Guide to Launching a Startup is now available in paperback and PDF format at StartupBook.net.

A few reviews so far:

“Congrats @robwalling for “shipping” – I’ve started reading it, it’s GREAT stuff! :)”
– Peldi, twitter.com/balsamiq

“[I] booked some time this afternoon and pretty much devoured it!  A great read, and I think you nailed exactly the right balance between big picture strategy and very specific and actionable tasks or resources.”
– Mark Roseman, www.markroseman.com

“@robwalling I’ve read only the first chapter and I think it’s the best piece I’ve read :)”
– Akash Manohar, twitter.com/akashmanohar

“Started reading @robwalling’s book tonight. Got about 25 pages in, and I can already tell I’m going to like it.”
– Joel, Ross twitter.com/RossCode

“…an awesome combination of big-picture ideas with tools and tactics to make it happen.”
– Harry Hollander, Moraware Software

If you’re interested, it’s available in paperback and PDF format at StartupBook.net.

Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Out

The fourth episode of Startups for the Rest of Us, the podcast I co-host with Mike Taber, is live at our podcast website.

This episode is titled Things We Wish We Knew When We Started Out. It looks back at lessons we’ve learned during our years of entrepreneurship.

This is the last episode I’ll announce for a while so if you’re interested in hearing two software entrepreneurs talk about software and web startups, subscribe using one of the links below. New episodes are out every Tuesday.

Subscribe via:

I’m Writing a Book: “Start Small. Stay Small. A Developer’s Guide to Launching a Startup”

A few weeks ago I asked for your opinion on the focus and format for my book. Since then I’ve worked out a lot more specifics, and today I’m pleased to announce them.

Start Small. Stay Small. A Developer’s Guide to Launching a Startup covers everything a software or web developer needs to know to launch and grow a startup with no outside funding. Sign up to receive a crazy pre-release deal when the book launches.

Here’s a snippet from the first chapter:

Who is this Book For?

This book is aimed at developers who want to launch a software or web startup with no outside funding. This book is for companies started by real people to solve real pain points using desktop, web and mobile applications.

In this book I assume:

  • You don’t have $6M of investor funds sitting in your bank account
  • You’re not going to relocate yourself or your family to the handful of startup hubs in the world
  • You’re not going to work 70 hour weeks for low pay with the hope of someday making millions from your stock options

There’s nothing wrong with going after venture funding and trying to grow a company fast like Amazon, Google, Twitter, and Facebook. It just so happens that most people are not in a place where they can pursue that route.

As I began the writing process I received input from developers who told me they were tired of “filler” material – weak case studies, superficial interviews, chapters describing 10 options for how to accomplish a task but no guidance on which path you should take.

So I’ve focused on providing a practical, step-by-step approach to getting your startup off the ground and focused on making every word count. No filler allowed.

If you aren’t frantically underlining, highlighting or taking notes as you read each chapter, then I have not achieved my goal for this book.

Sound like fun?

Sign up to receive a crazy pre-release deal when the book launches.

Podcast Ranked #13 in iTunes: Management and Marketing

I logged into iTunes Wednesday night and was pleasantly surprised to see our brand new podcast ranked #13 in its category:

Startups for the Rest of Us Podcast in iTunes

This was before I realized it must be a “velocity” ranking; since we launched Wednesday we had a lot of new subscribers, which propelled us onto this “Top Podcasts” list. Either that or these podcasts have a lot fewer listeners than I thought.

Nah, it’s the velocity thing.

But Management and Marketing? iTunes needs to re-think these stodgy old categories because it’s the closest thing to “startups” they offer. In the drop down menu, Management and Marketing is just above Blacksmithing and Siege-weapon Manufacturing.

Oh well, we’re in good company alongside the Harvard Business IdeaCast, HubSpot’s Inboung Marketing University and StartupNation.

Our next episode, Stupid Reasons to Start a Software Company, will be out next Tuesday.

Thanks to everyone who has subscribed to the podcast, through iTunes or otherwise. If you have a minute, a rating and/or comment in iTunes will greatly help our visibility and ranking. You can also subscribe via RSS or email.

I Need Your Help! Which Book Would You Be Most Likely to Buy?

I’m in the first stage of writing a book.

I’ve been in talks with two publishers who approached me through this blog. But before I get too far into this process I need your help to find out what the book should focus on.

Shape the future by answering the two questions below…

Thanks to everyone who responded.


Darth Vader is My Father…and I’m on Twitter

The phrase “joining the dark side” perfectly summarizes my feelings about the fact that I joined Twitter a few weeks ago.

It was the Business of Software 2009 conference that did it. They announced that you would miss out on certain parts of the conference if you weren’t on Twitter so I broke down and joined.

Like everyone else whom I’ve talked to, I think the verdict is still out about the real value of Twitter, but I’m in and I’m tweeting like crazy about Micropreneurship, microISVs, launching and marketing software, and making it work as a single founder.

You can find me at http://twitter.com/RobWalling

Look me up. We’ll tweet lunch.