Pythonaro blog

20 September 2009

"The Web Startup Success Guide" review, and how to tie-in better

Yesterday, I bought Bob Walsh's latest book, The Web Startup Success Guide. It's the only thing I've found in "mainstream" bookshops that seemed really relevant to my current project, and indeed it is.

As "self-help-business" books go, this is a good one: the fluff is kept low (could have done with a few less interviews maybe, especially from bloody Guy Kawasaki -- if you're thinking of starting up and don't know him already, you haven't done your homework), and there's something for everybody, with plenty of practical advice and real tools you can use. A few ones are very US-centric (like, which is a real shame), but that's par for the course in this area.

You can also see that Walsh practices what he preaches, and that's always a good sign. Minutes after I twitted on the subject, he "@replied"; he really monitors social media for marketing purposes as much as he says you should do.

Walsh also couldn't miss the chance to pimp his latest shot at startupping,; after all, he's a good friend of Joel Spolsky, a master of self-publicity. Clearly the book and the site are part of a coordinated marketing effort. Nothing wrong with that: the book is NOT simply a brochure for the site, it's all good content, probably coming from the extensive research Walsh did while building the site as well as his personal experience (which was also enshrined in his previous effort, the famous Micro-ISV: from Vision to Reality). What I've found a bit disappointing was that the effort is missing the very last bit. StartupToDo is due to launch next week, but has been in private beta (invite-only) for a while now. The book was published in July. It would have been cool for readers to get some sort of password, a "backdoor" to the beta program, so they could sign up while they're still fired up from the book. For two months, "faithful" followers were just able to leave an email to be reminded when the real launch would actually happen. I'm lucky as I have to wait just a few days, but in the age of Internet-time and instant gratification, that's still a lot. So, Bob (and whoever goes for the next book/website combo): you should try to increase your conversion rate by making sure that readers can get in straight away.

UPDATE: is now live, as Bob correctly points out below. I'm "toyg" on the site, feel free to "friend me"! I've wandered a bit around the site already... lots of good info, recommendations and links which I'm still trying to get my head around. I'll post a better review later.

And now, back to plotting my startup...

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posted by GiacomoL @ 10:29 PM   1 comments links to this post