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business books

I run a small software business, with 2 products I am distributing over the Internet and selling as shareware.

My request to you is if you can recommend me some business books relevant to my situation.

I'm interested in developing new products, managing my company (I have 3 developers), improving sales of the software products, etc.

So, what books should I read?

Thank you!

George Leyon
Thursday, July 31, 2003

A good place to start would be the archives of JoS and Eric Sink's Articles.

Also the book that Joel mentions in his reading list, specfically - Growing a Business by Paul Hawken.

Other than reading books, keep a tab on what companies/ products are competing with you, etc.

Good Luck.

Prakash S
Thursday, July 31, 2003

Yes, start with JoS for the practical stuff.

For setting goals and such, I'd recommend "The Practice of Management" by Drucker.

For managing people, try "PeopleWare" by DeMacro/Lister or  "The Deadline" by DeMarco.

Also, I'd HIGHLY recommend "Million Dollar Consulting"  Lotsa gems in that one.

Good luck,

Matt H.
Thursday, July 31, 2003

For advertising and marketing read "Ogilvy on Advertising".  It is to advertising what Mythical Man Month is to computer science.

Matthew Lock
Thursday, July 31, 2003

As Prakash indicated,
is a good read.

Just me (Sir to you)
Thursday, July 31, 2003

I recommend "Marketing Without Advertising", by Michael Phillips and Salli Rasberry:

Conventional advertising rarely has a positive return on investment.  This book will tell you how to get the word out on the streets without spending a lot of money.

Alex Chernavsky
Thursday, July 31, 2003

Someone posted this link to a weblog by a shareware game developer on this forum about a month ago. Lots of good info from the author's personal experience about the business of shareware.

To save you searching the archives here it is:

Lauren B.
Thursday, July 31, 2003

"Thinking Like an Entreprenuer" by Hupalo... for how to think about cashflow.

Thursday, July 31, 2003

> Conventional advertising rarely has a positive return on investment

Thinking like that is why you need to read "Ogilvy on Advertising". There's a nice little chart in the book showing the return on adveristing companies get.

Matthew Lock
Thursday, July 31, 2003

Matthew, I haven't read Ogilvy's book, but the information hardly comes from an objective source.

I used to work with advertising agencies when I did marketing research for a pharmaceutical company.  I wouldn't trust them with a ten-foot pole, or something.  The agencies, of course, _always_ get a positive return on _their_ investment.

Alex Chernavsky
Thursday, July 31, 2003

I really like "Marketing Warfare" by Al Ries and Jack Trout. Its writing style is a little too "breezy" and casual, but it packs some good product marketing/positioning insights into a very short and readable book.

Thursday, July 31, 2003

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