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Starting a Tech Business: A Practical Guide for Anyone Creating or Designing Applications or Software

Book Description

The non-technical guide to building a booming tech-enabled business

Thinking of starting a technology-enabled business? Or maybe you just want to increase your technology mojo so you can do your job better? You do not need to learn programming to participate in the development of today's hottest technologies. But there are a few easy-to-grasp foundation concepts that will help you engage with a technical team. Starting a Tech Business explains in practical, actionable terms how to

  • formulate and reality test new ideas

  • package what you learn into frameworks that are highly actionable for engineers

  • understand key foundation concepts about modern software and systems

  • participate in an agile/lean development team as the 'voice of the customer'

Even if you have a desire to learn to program (and I highly recommend doing whatever unlocks your 'inner tinkerer'), these foundation concepts will help you target what exactly you want to understand about hands-on technology development. While a decade ago the barriers to creating a technology-enabled business required a pole vault, getting started today only requires a determined step in the right direction. Starting a Tech Business supplies the tools prospective entrepreneurs and business enterprises need to avoid common pitfalls and succeed in the fast-paced world of high-tech business. Successful execution requires thoughtful, evidence-based product formulation, well-articulated design, economic use of systems, adaptive management of technical resources, and empathetic deployment to customers. Starting a Tech Business offers practical checklists and frameworks that business owners, entrepreneurs, and professionals can apply to any tech-based business idea, whether you're developing software and products or beginning a technology-enabled business. You'll learn:

  1. How to apply today's leading management frameworks to a tech business

  2. How to package your product idea in a way that's highly actionable for your technical team

  3. How to ask the right questions about technology selection and product architecture

  4. Strategies to leverage what your technology ecosystem has to offer

  5. How to carefully define the roles on your team, and then effectively evaluate candidates

  6. The most common disconnects between engineers and business people and how to avoid them

  7. How you can apply process design to your tech business without stifling creativity

  8. The steps to avoid the most common pitfalls tech founders encounter

Now is one of the best times to start a technology-enabled business, and anyone can do it with the right amount and kind of preparation. Starting a Tech Business shows you how to move a product idea to market quickly and inexpensively—and to tap into the stream of wealth that a tech business can provide.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright
  4. Dedication
  5. Acknowledgments
  6. Introduction
    1. Who Should Read This? Why?
    2. What Is a Technology System?
    3. Leveraging Industry Shifts
    4. What Will I Get out of These Chapters?
    5. Who Is the Author?
  7. Chapter 1: The Idea
    1. Conception
    2. Reality Testing
    3. Footprint
    4. Platforms
    5. Engaging Moonlighters
    6. Beta Customers
    7. Checklist
    8. Specialty Reading by Topic
  8. Chapter 2: The Strategy
    1. What Strategy?
    2. Squaring the Four Ps
    3. Company Strategy
    4. More on Catalysts
    5. Iterative Management
    6. Bringing It All Together
    7. Checklist
    8. Specialty Reading by Topic
  9. Chapter 3: The Product
    1. Thinking Like a Designer
    2. User Stories
    3. Using the MVC Framework for a High-Level Design
    4. The View
    5. The Model
    6. The Controller
    7. Iterative Learning and Design
    8. Pulling It All Together
    9. Checklist
    10. Specialty Reading by Topic
  10. Chapter 4: The Architecture
    1. Industrial Revolution 2.0
    2. Designing an Architecture
    3. Understanding Integration
    4. Architecture Piece Parts at Enable Quiz
    5. Evaluating Piece Parts
    6. Understanding Open Source
    7. Understanding Development Tools
    8. Checklist
    9. Specialty Reading by Topic
  11. Chapter 5: The Team
    1. Who Are These Software People?
    2. Roles and Skill Sets at Enable Quiz
    3. Evaluating New Hires
    4. Evaluating Third-Party Firms
    5. Motivation
    6. Going Offshore
    7. Contracting
    8. Internal Tools
    9. Checklist
    10. Specialty Reading by Topic
  12. Chapter 6: Getting to Beta
    1. From Here to There
    2. Planning at Enable Quiz
    3. The Reality
    4. Documentation
    5. Checklist
    6. Specialty Reading by Topic
  13. Chapter 7: Beta!
    1. Process, Process, Process
    2. Process Example: Enable Quiz
    3. You Are My Beta
    4. Checklist
    5. Specialty Reading by Topic
  14. Chapter 8: Scaling the Business
    1. The Launch: Is It Working?
    2. Partnerships
    3. Focus, Focus, Focus
    4. The Chasm and the Hockey Stick
    5. Managing Feedback at Enable Quiz
    6. Learning When (and How) to Say No
    7. Post-Mortems
    8. Scaling
    9. What Now?
    10. Checklist
    11. Specialty Reading by Topic
  15. Index