Archive for September, 2005

Testing Google

Monday, September 26th, 2005

One of Robert Cringely’s readers set up an experiment to test the effect of changing the amount he bid on Google AdWords to drive business to his website. He set up the experiment to run parallel to his main website, and that was a very good decision. While certainly not scientific, the results of his test were pretty interesting and something to be on the lookout for as you are monitoring your own AdWords bids and the conversion of clicks.

via Stylegala

Top 3 Mistakes when marketing software

Friday, September 23rd, 2005

marketingsherpa has an article (free access until October 2) where the CEO of MySQL gives the 3 top mistakes made by software marketers. The items listed are good advice for all software marketers and echo a lot of the things we’ve been promoting in the microISV community such as transparency and communication.

From the forums

Monday, September 19th, 2005

chrisknight asks “As an independent software developer, do you prefer the “Coding” or “Business” sides of your operation? ” He has started a poll asking this question but is also seeking input on collaboration between microISVs.

The microISV MBA thread needs your submissions. Several people have said they are interested in this topic but the submissions have been lackluster so get over there and add to the list!

Amazon/Microsoft developers contest

Friday, September 16th, 2005

Amazon and Microsoft have teamed up to offer $5000 as a grand prize to the developer who builds the winning app for the contest. The app must be built using Visual Studio 2005 and Amazon Web Services. Judging is based on the following:

  • Creativity of Application
    The uniqueness of the idea or implementation.
  • AWS Service Integration
    The quality and extent to which the AWS services are integrated into the application as a whole.
  • Commercial Appeal
    The consumer or business value represented in the application, e.g., is there market appeal for the application?
  • Fit and Polish
    How good is the look and feel? How stable and robust is the application?

Free Ruby on Rails Hosting

Thursday, September 15th, 2005

If you’ve been interested in testing out Ruby on Rails then head over to and sign up for your free account. The service includes 20MB disk space, 500MB bandwidth, 1 free MySQL database and 1 free PostgreSQL database and no ads on your free site.

via DownloadSquad

09/21/2005 - Update from the RailsPlayground blog:

Since we have had such an overwhelming response we have decied to stop taking new accounts for now. We hope to offer free accounts again in the near future.

They now have sandbox accounts for $12 per year.

microISV MBA

Thursday, September 15th, 2005

The idea of the Personal MBA has become popular recently so I figured we could borrow that idea to create the microISV MBA. There’s a thread in the forums listing recommended books for the microISV. Please take a moment to add your recommendations for general business, marketing and technical books to the thread. Even if the book is already listed, please add it if its one of your favorites so that the most popular books will become evident.

Which brain do you use?

Tuesday, September 13th, 2005

Daniel Pink, author of A Whole New Mind: Moving From the Information Age to the Conceptual Age, believes that the business world is becoming more right-brained. In an Entreprenuer/MSNBC interview he makes several points about this shift, one of interest to the microISV community is:

Design has become a fundamental form of business literacy. That means creating products, services and experiences that have the user in mind.

Pink is also the author of Free Agent Nation which I have not read but it looks like a book to add to the reading list.

Young mavericks

Monday, September 12th, 2005

Forbes has profiled several people, all under 40 years old, that they deem mavericks because of the work they’re doing.

One of those profiled is Brian Behlendorf who helped write the web server Apache. He now has a company that is trying to get businesses to adopt an open-source mentality of sharing code with others to create better software.

Shareware Review: Smart FTP by SmartFTP GmbH

Friday, September 2nd, 2005

A new semi-regular feature here at microISV will be reviews of shareware products that I come across. The products reviewed will be ones that I come across ‘organically’ by way of word of mouth, word of web or personal need. Hopefully you’ll find the reviews helpful when creating your app and building your webpage. The first review follows.

FTP apps are pretty much a commodity these days and 99 percent of them are exactly the same. Normally, I use the FTP features built into Internet Explorer but this is often slow and unreliable so I went looking for a GUI FTP app that I could use. The app I found was SmartFTP. Below are my thoughts on the app, the website, and the experience.


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