Wednesday, October 25, 2006

"Getting Real" is now free

The folks at have made their Getting Real book free to read - read it on the web now for no charge. You can also choose to buy this book in PDF or paperback form.

This book is an awesome read. You may not agree with everything you read (I didn't) but you have to admit that it makes a fascinating argument for a new world - the New Web Startup. (I hate the term Web 2.0)

What it brings to the table is a collection of startup concepts you might have heard of in passing that contradict popular notion, and somehow the authors come across as the Robin Hoods of startups. You've heard "Get a VC", they say "Screw the VC, get started anyhow". You've heard "You gotta go full time", they say "Part time's ok, even weekend time". "More features than the competition" is now "Less but better tested features".

There are small, tiny little things in there that stick on for a long, long time after you've read them. I find myself sitting back and thinking again about some of the assumptions I'd made, and asking myself, "What was I smoking?" For instance, you'll find the argument against functional specs compelling:

Build, don't write. If you need to explain something, try mocking it up and prototyping it rather than writing a longwinded document. An actual interface or prototype is on its way to becoming a real product. A piece of paper, on the other hand, is only on its way to the garbage can.

What you might want to is get yourself a good 2 hour undisturbed stretch to read this book. Maybe four hours, if you, like me, need to wander off and search for what struck you when you read something.

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