This is a review of some of the books I've read over the last year concerning the business of software. I'll post more reviews as I finish some of the other books in my collection.
- MUST READ - Micro-ISV: From Vision to Reality (Bob Walsh) - This book has a lot of information to help decide what features a product should have, who the market for the product should be, and how to market to that group. It also includes what legal issues you need to consider when launching a product. The book uses a lot of examples of real software companies to illustrate the concepts in the book.
- MUST READ - Eric Sink on the Business of Software (Expert's Voice) (Eric Sink) - This is a collection of articles written by Eric Sink for various publications. He is the founder of SourceGear, a software company that produces a version control system (he also has a great blog!). The articles seem to cover most of the aspects of running a small software company, such as marketing, funding (or how to avoid it :), hiring, etc. The articles are well written and sprinkled with enough humor to make them enjoyable. Eric is the author that coined the term "Micro-ISV".
- Recommended - Bringing Your Product to Market...In Less Than a Year: Fast-Track Approaches to Cashing in on Your Great Idea (Don Debelak) - Ok, this is not, technically, a book on the business-of-software, but it's still a great book to read to understand many of the issues that a startup might face. It's main claim to fame is the concept of turbo-outsourcing which is pretty much a non-issue with software (unless there are specific hardware requirements). Since software has such significantly different production requirements and distribution channels than typical marketable products, I wouldn't put this on my "must read" list, but I still believe it's worth reading.