Contents

Introduction xix

Acknowledgments xxi

Chapter 1 : How Winners Spot Winners 1

Where Winners Find Their Ideas 1

How to Bottle Eureka 2

Step 2 - Stretch Your Idea 3

Step 3 - Make Sure Your Idea Is Well Defined 4

Step 4 - Open Up Your Concept 4

Step 5 - Check the Concept against Your Own Experience 5

Step 6 - Gather Your Inner Sanctum 6

Step 7 - You Are Only Human 7

Why Development Pays 7

Chapter 2: What Successful People Ask 9

Who to Ask 10

How Many People Must You Survey? 11

The Ethics 12

A Task for a Professional? 13

Framing the Questionnaire 14

What Might You Charge? 14

Sales Potential 15

Competition 15

Office Information 15

Sticky Questions 16

Types of Questions 16

Open Questions 16

Direct Questions 17

Comparative Questions 17

Non-Comparative Questions 17

The Likert Scale 18

Pre-Testing the Questionnaire 18

Methods of Contact 19

Personal Interviews 20

Who to Contact 21

How to Interpret the Results 22

What Features Would You Like It to Have? 22

Where Would You Expect to Find Such a Product? 23

Do You Know of Any Similar Products? 23

How Many Units Are You Likely to Sell? 24

Moving Respondents Nearer a Sale 25

To Sum Up 25

Sample Questionnaire 25

Chapter 3: Plan for Success 29

Improving Your Odds 30

Planning Takes Time Yet Saves Time 31

Think Backwards 31

Consulting Potential Users 32

Divining the Sales Cycle 33

Creating the Plan 34

Know the Difference between Ideal and Perfect 36

The Unified Development Plan 36

How to Get Projects Completed on Time 39

Gathering Apostles 40

Planning 46

Chapter 4: I Want to Work Here! 47

People 47

Affirm the Company Ethos 48

Speaking the Same Language 49

Meetings 50

Circulate the News 50

Working Environments 51

Staff Relationships 53

Sharing Success 53

Corporate Stability 55

Freeing the Human Spirit 55

Chapter 5: Raising Cash and Kind 57

Advice 58

Money 58

Cash You Will Have to Repay 59

Cash the Business Will Have to Repay 61

Cash Invested in the Business 61

The Business Plan 64

The Management Team 65

Opportunity 65

Circumstance 66

Structure 67

The Executive Summary 67

The Elevator Pitch 68

Initial Placement Offering 68

Is It Worth Going After Venture Capital? 68

Help in Kind 68

Do It Yourself 69

Chapter 6: Development 71

The First P Is People 72

Get the Right People 72

A Wise Precaution 77

Small Is Beautiful 78

The Last P Is Process 78

Negotiating Change 79

Keeping Problems at Arms' Length 80

Risk Management 80

The Time-Money Quantum 80

Rules to Block Disruptions 81

Commissioned Projects 88

Know When the Project Is Finished 93

Checklist 93

Chapter 7: How Not to Reinvent the Wheel 95

The Goal 96

Think, Discuss, Agree 97

Which Are the Prime Targets? 98

Sourcing Componentware 99

The Wider the Use, the Greater the Benefits 100

Be Aware, Things Are Changing 101

Multi-platform Development 101

Chapter 8: Programming without Tears 103

Are You Experienced? 103

Strategy 104

Building the Team 105

Choose the Right People 105

Recruiting 106

Interviewing 107

Motivating Staff 109

Pay Structures 109

Equipment 110

Training 111

Planning and Delegating Work 111

Inspection and Communication 112

Office Politics 112

Severance 112

Redundancy 113

Remote Workers 114

Promotion 115

Know Yourself, Know Your Team 115

Keeping Your Team 115

Chapter 9: Squashing Bugs at the Source 117

Obsessed about Quality? 119

How to Approach Quality 119

How to Classify a Bug 119

How to Measure Quality 120

Correctness 121

Reliability 122

Efficiency 122

Integrity 122

Usability 122

Maintainability 123

Flexibility 123

Testability 123

Portability 123

Reusability 125

Interoperability 125

Quantifiers of Quality Are Simply Indicators 125

How to Measure Quality 125

Functional Characteristics 126

Function Point Analysis 127

Mark II Method 127

Feature Points 128

Bang Metric 128

3D Feature Points 128

COCOMO 128

Bugs 128

Version Control 129

Classification 130

Length 130

Number and Growth of Bugs 130

Bug Density 130

Discriminate Bug Density 130

How to Minimize Bugs from the Outset 132

Go Over Your Technical Plan with a Fine-Tooth Comb 132

Split a Large Project Up into Components 132

Base Things on a Daily Build 132

Create a Good Communications Environment 132

Testing for Bugs 133

Procedure 133

Test Plan 133

Self-Testing 134

Equipment for Testing 134

Internal Testing (Informal) 134

Buddy Coding (Informal Day-to-Day Inspection) 134

Objective Inspection 134

Consumer Trials 135

Open Up the Beta Testing as Early as Possible 135

Feature Logging 136

Release Criteria 136

Sign Off 137

You, Quality, and the Law 137

Chapter 10: Scoring with Words 139

Installation Directions 141

Manuals and Help Systems 142

Alternatives to Print 142

The Alphabetical Approach 144

The Function Approach 144

The Task-Oriented Approach 144

Have You Covered Everything? 145

Don't Forget to Document the Program Itself 145

A Few Tips about Writing in General 145

How Should You Set Your Writing Out? 147

A Picture Paints a Thousand Words 148

Little Things Matter 148

And Once You Have Written It? 148

Chapter 11: Before You Say "Go!"-The Release Process 149

Software Release Covers Everything 150

The Chronological Countdown 151

Types of Release and the Appropriate Actions 153

New Products 153

New Versions 154

Interim Updates 154

Minor Releases 154

Release Issues 154

Strategic Planning of Release Dates 155

Which Day? 155

Aren't Gold Disks Just for Pop Stars? 156

Web Site Uploads 156

Who's in Control? 157

Stopping the Release Process 157

What to Do if a Release Goes Seriously Wrong 157

Apportioning Blame Helps No One 158

Chapter 12: Setting Up a Company 159

A Universal Solution? 159

Why a Company? 160

The Plusses 160

The Minuses 161

Before You Jump 161

The Corporate Vocabulary 163

What It Costs to Set Up a Company with Limited Liability 164

Professional Advisors 166

The Basics of Setting Up a Company 167

Who Can Form a Company? 167

Share Capital 167

What Happens Next? 169

How Many Company Officers Do I Need? 169

Shares and Shareholdings 170

Corporate Responsibility 171

Directorial Responsibilities 171

Corporate Administrator/Company Secretary Responsibilities . . .172 Record of Accounts 172

Chapter 13: Pitching the Price 175

Pricing Theory 175

Gauging the Correct Price 176

What Is the Real Cost of Development? 176

Market Size 177

What Is the Market Able and Willing to Pay? 178

Direct Competition 178

Prices Set for Similar Products 179

The Value of Benefits Conferred on the User 179

What Profit Do You Want? 180

The Positive Effects of Advertising and PR 180

How Associated Products Can Increase Your Income 181

Price Bands 182

Never Undersell Yourself 183

Other Ways to Win Revenue 184

Critical Mass 184

Closely Related to Price Is Market Share 184

The Crux 185

Chapter 14: Promoting Your Product 187

Marketing 187

Write a Marketing Plan 189

What's in a Name? 190

Branding 191

Establishing Your Corporate Image 192

Communicating with Your Public 202

Advertising 203

A Few Words of Advice 203

If You'd Like to but Can't 204

Advertising Is Extremely Versatile 204

Choice of Media 205

Working with Lower Budgets 205

Exhibitions 211

Public Relations 212

Social Events 213

Evaluation Software for Journalists 213

Selecting Your Market? 214

Positioning Yourself in a Way People Can Grasp 215

Harness Your Strengths 216

Consider Some Variations on the Standard Sale 216

Shareware 216

Adware 217

Upgrade Ware 217

Third-Party Certification 217

Free Software 217

Competitions 218

Some Final Tips 218

Chapter 15: Going For Higher Volumes 221

Meet the Players 223

The Producer 223

Distributors 223

Web-Based Distributors 224

Dealers 225

End User 225

International Distributors 225

Large Retail Chains 226

Regional Sales Offices 226

Direct Salespeople 226

Multi-Level Marketing 226

Distribution Models 227

Direct Sales 227

Two-Tier Distribution 228

Three-Tier Distribution 228

International Distribution 228

Multi-Level Distribution 229

Third-Party Resellers 230

Selecting Distributors and Dealers 231

Margins 232

Terms 233

Who Does What? 233

Distribution Procedures 234

Managing Distribution 237

Are Dealers and Distributors Dead? 239

Chapter 16: Successful Selling 241

The Essence of Selling 241

What a Sale Really Is 242

Sales Costs 243

How to Approach Selling 245

How Customers Think 245

Why Customer Relationships Matter 247

Similarities of Scale 247

About Viral Selling 248

Extracting Blood from a Stone 248

Managing Salespeople 249

Hanging On to the Data 250

Sales Analysis 250

Sales Teams 251

How to Spot a Potentially Good Salesperson 251

Rewards and Cautionary Tales 252

Training 254

Cold Calling 255

Software Can Do a Lot of the Donkey Work 256

Site Visits 256

Presentations 258

To Buy or Grow Your Own Contacts 258

Customers Who Give Themselves Up 259

Big Leads 260

Monitoring Sales 261

Prioritizing Prospects 261

Selling through Other People's Teams 261

The Customer Relationships 263

Building the Customer Dynamic 263

Web-Based Selling 264

Now Find Out What You Need to Say 264

Processing Electronic Orders 269

Dealing with Delays and Returns 270

Chapter 17: How to Keep Customers 271

What Support Can Do for You 271

The Price of Perfection 272

How Customers Think 272

Your Options 272

None 273

Help 273

E-mail 274

Newsgroups 274

Web Sites 275

Telephone and Video Telephone 275

Site Visits 275

Scheduling Support 276

Costs 276

Support Staff 277

When Should You Switch On Support? 277

What to Look for When Choosing Support Personnel 277

When to Buy in Your Support Service 277

Training Support Staff 278

Keep Your Programmers in the Loop 280

Measuring Support 280

Charging for Support 281

Making the Customer Feel Good 282

Using Feedback 283

Chapter 18: Plugging the Hole in the Boat 285

The Other Golden Rule 285

Bank Accounts 286

Accounting Systems 287

Credit Cards 288

Credit Card Fraud 289

Use Third-Party Online Facilities 289

Invoicing and Credit 289

Credit Control 291

Downtimes Are the Norm 291

Spotting the Early Warnings 292

Companies That Take Early Action Are the Ones That Survive . . . . 293

Forecasting 294

Paying Suppliers 296

How to Spend Money 297

Chapter 19: Handling Growth 299

Success Sifts the Comets from the Stars 299

Selecting Your Next Goal 300

Learning from Your Own Success 301

The Real Driver behind Growth Is People 302

Top Management 303

Relocation without Dislocation 305

Turning on the Sales Tap 306

Expansion Abroad 307

Financing 308

In Conclusion 308

Chapter 20: Preparing for Further Success 309

Consider a Cautionary Tale 309

Is It Too Good to Be True? 312

Have They Sent the Right Person? 313

Do They Have an Adequate Reason for Buying? 314

How to Spot a Trojan Horse 314

When You Make the First Approach 314

How Do You Run Your Business and Sell It? 315

Heads of Agreement 315

Hassle 316

Be Prepared 316

Valuing the Firm 318

How Do You Maximize Value? 319

The Contract 319

The Deal 320

Appendix A: Search Engine Optimization (or Winner Takes All). . . 321

Index 337

Salehoo Secrets and Tips

Salehoo Secrets and Tips

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