Shareware Blunders; Interview
with Adam Stiles
1.) What prompted you to create an ebook?
Two reasons... First, it had never been done before.
I've purchased a number of ebooks in the past
on various subjects, especially marketing-related
books, and they have all been extremely helpful.
The best ones are written by experts who share
real-world experiences. I'd never seen anything
like this for the "shareware" world, so I decided
to give it a try.
Second, I'm going to have to miss the Shareware
Industry Conference this year. Its one of
my favorite events of the year, but we have a
family conflict that can't be avoided. One of
my favorite things about SIC is talking with other
developers, schmoozing, learning about what works
and what doesn't, and just hanging out. Learning
from the "experts" has certainly helped me, and
I wanted to allow others to learn from the experts
too. The people I've met in the industry are some
of the friendliest and most helpful - and I've
met most of the ebook contributors at one time
or another. The ebook by no means replaces the
SIC, but it combines advice from what is probably
the best collection of experts ever assembled.
2.) What specifically does the ebook cover?
I talked to about 40 developers and vendor/commentator/experts
and asked them about the costliest mistakes they
see other developers make, and about the costliest
mistakes they've made in their business. The ebook
is the compilation of all of the answers that
people gave me. Lots of areas are covered - marketing,
advertising, partnering, affiliate programs, web
site usability and design, software usability
and design, customer service, software protection
- just about all aspects of the business.
3.) Who do you feel would benefit most
from reading the ebook?
Anyone who sells software will benefit from reading
the ebook, and especially those developers starting
or running small companies.
4.) Can you give us a sample of what to
Where to start? One of my favorite contributions
is from Nick Bradbury, the author of HomeSite,
TopStyle, and FeedDemon. You don't find many people
in the industry who have written more than one
"killer app", and it could be argued that Nick
has written not just one, but three. Nick sold
HomeSite to Allaire, and Allaire was later purchased
by Macromedia. I met Nick at Internet World in
Los Angeles in 1996, just after he sold the product
to Allaire. Nick shares that his costliest mistake
was the decision to sell HomeSite without really
knowing what it was worth. The driving factor
behind his decision to sell was desperation caused
by the way he was running his company - you'll
have to get the book to read more about what caused
his desperation. Nick then describes changes he's
implemented with his two newer applications to
make sure he never gets in that desperate situation
5.) What did you learn in writing the
I learned a ton... And I have a HUGE todo list
for various changes to make to both my software
and my web site, and that doesn't even scratch
the surface of my marketing todo list. I included
a 4-page cheatsheet at the end of the ebook which
are effectively the notes I took reviewing the
6.) I realize this is a conglomeration
of advice from various | industry professionals
can you give us some idea of who | participated
in the ebook?
You can get a full list on the site, but its
about 40 people... Including commentators like
Chris "Lockergnome" Pirillo, Sr. Download.com
Editor Wayne Cunningham, RegNow founder Jessica
Dewell, Tucows founder Scott Swedorski, and super-developers
like Dexterity founder Steve Pavlina, FTP Voyager
creator Mark Peterson, GetRight developer Michael
Burford, HomeSite/TopStyle/FeedDemon developer
Nick Bradbury, and a whole bunch of other people
too. Its really an incredible line-up.
7.) What piece of advice can you give
No matter how successful you've been in the business,
there is always more to learn. You can learn the
most from the experts - so go to the SIC conference
and talk to everyone you can, join the Association
of Shareware Professionals and fully engage with
the various networking opportunities, and get
the ebook :-) Beyond that... never, ever, ever,
ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, EVER give up!
Adam has provided a $ 10.00 discount to SMR readers!
In order to purchase the software at the discounted
price use the following link - http://www.swb2.com/smr.php
About the Author -
Sharon Housley manages marketing for NotePage,
a company specializing in alphanumeric paging,
SMS and wireless messaging software solutions.
Other sites by Sharon can be found at http://www.softwaremarketingresource.com
, and http://www.small-business-software.net