• Start Small, Stay Small

  • A Developer's Guide to Launching a Startup
  • By: Rob Walling
  • Narrated by: Rob Walling
  • Length: 4 hrs and 32 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (110 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Start Small, Stay Small is a step-by-step guide to launching a self-funded start-up. If you're a desktop, mobile, or web developer, this audiobook is your blueprint to getting your start-up off the ground with no outside investment. This audiobook intentionally avoids topics restricted to venture-backed start-ups such as: honing your investment pitch, securing funding, and figuring out how to use the piles of cash investors keep placing in your lap. 

This audiobook assumes:  

  • You don't have six million dollars of investor funds sitting in your bank account
  • You're not going to relocate to the handful of start-up hubs in the world
  • You're not going to work 70-hour weeks for low pay with the hope of someday making millions from stock options

There's nothing wrong with pursuing venture funding and attempting to grow fast like Amazon, Google, Twitter, and Facebook. It just so happens that most people are not in a place to do this. Start Small, Stay Small also focuses on the single most important element of a start-up that most developers avoid: marketing. There are many great resources for learning how to write code, organize source control, or connect to a database. This audiobook does not cover the technical aspects developers already know or can learn elsewhere. It focuses on finding your idea, testing it before you build, and getting it into the hands of your customers.

©2010 Robert Walling (P)2010 Robert Walling

What listeners say about Start Small, Stay Small

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Spot on, no filler material

The rare business book that manages to compress concrete knowledge without all the fluff. Debunks venture myths and replaces them with hands on advice.

1 person found this helpful

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The most practical book I’ve ever heard read

Most books tell you all the possible methods of doing something but never tell you which is the BEST method. Rob actually pulls back the cover on building a SaaS business. This book is a true blueprint with additional information for situational differences. While the book has some old references like website examples, the fundamental principles and advice still apply. I’m going to listen to this book again to the strategy for my product.

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  • BJ
  • 04-11-22

Great audiobook I can listen to over and over

This ia a short book that is invaluable. it can be listened to over and over, and I discover new insights every time.

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Good insights for starting a business.

Great book for someone who wants to start a small business. The author shares tips, insights, costs and time estimations for entrepreneurs.

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Can't get past the vocal fry

I think the author has great vision, but I can't stand his voice. He has a "vocal fry" that ruins the delivery for me. I likely won't be finishing the title, having only made it through about thirty minutes.

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Still relevant for those carving out their “entre-path”

It was about when I heard the mention of the iPhone 3G that I realized when this book was actually written/recorded. But a lot of the advice is still adequate; still the way the internet works. Mailchimp is still one of the best options for handling your email.
Besides that this book gives a lot of practical tips and references to tools and blogs, although some might be outdated some are still valuable and the main message came across loud and clear: market first, marketing second, aesthetic third and functionality a distant fourth.
I haven’t been frantically writing down notes as I listened to the audiobook because I tend to listen to them when my hands are doing something else but I did definitely stop sometimes to make an Evernote on keyword tools for example.
I am working together with a (more experienced) developer who seems to have already taken care of most of the basic things needed to show up in search results. But I think I’ve spotted our most grave error thanks to how Rob makes a distinction between the different kinds of entrepreneurial paths from micropreneurship to VC funding.
We’re in a “too cool” market that is nice for cocktail parties but we are not in a position to be starting such a grand idea. And because we havent specified our niche wel enough we are quickly realizing that the competition we are facing and the platform approach we are taking is making our chances of selling, let alone turning a profit very slim.
I also appreciate a lot how Rob lays out the different kind of strategies for developing startup ideas with special attention to personal time management and outsourcing. This is something which Tim Ferris also made an important point of but I feel like Rob gives a bit more practical advice on VA’s.
I might listen to it again, its short enough, although I thought the book “entrepreneurs guide to keeping your sh**t together” was more inspiring.

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  • craftworkgames
  • 02-03-20

it was alright

it starting to feel a little dated but some of the information is still relevant.