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From Program to Product: Turning Your Code into a Saleable Product

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Many would–be software entrepreneurs with expertise in many fields attempt to turn a homegrown application—one developed for use in their own business or profession—into a commercial product. Lack of knowledge, experience, or skills often prevents the idea from ever taking shape, let alone achieving its potential. Entering a new field to start a business leaves many developers unprepared and not even fully aware it’s something they know so little about. They will also often have a job that conflicts with the time commitment required to market the program well enough for it to become a complete success.

Do you have an idea for a commercially viable software product or already have a product with the potential for dream financial rewards? Would–be software entrepreneurs must consult From Program to Product: Turning Your Code into a Saleable Product, written by software developer and entrepreneur Rocky Smolin, for an indispensable roadmap to creating a commercially successful software product. Smolin shares insights from his own experience and covers topics you may never anticipate but are vital to success, like pricing, documentation, licensing, and tracking customers.

What you’ll learn

Rocky Smolin walks you through the essentials of turning a development project into a product, including

  • How to determine the best method of licensing your work and how to enforce that license
  • Choosing the appropriate price, calculating potential revenue, and selecting payment methods, including leasing and support options
  • Selling products direct to the customer, through retailers, and via other sales channels
  • Managing technical considerations within your development project, including logos, splash screens, output, error trapping and reporting, and localization/internationalization
  • Creating attractive packaging and developing an appearance for the product, including within the application itself, supporting documentation, and in external components
  • Handling marketing, sales, and administration—learn product differentiation, lead generation, prospect tracking, and customer follow–ups

Who is this book for?

From Program to Product: Turning Your Code into a Saleable Product is for both the “lone ranger” programmer and small developer teams of 2—3 persons each. If you have a program developed for your own use and would like to commercialize it, but are stymied at the many issues to consider and resolve before selling to the public, you’ll find your answers here. Additionally, if you’re a programmer at the moment with an idea or a desire to try to create a commercially viable application, and you’re motivated by the dream of cash flow, this book is a vital roadmap.

Related Titles

  • Eric Sink on the Business of Software
  • Micro-ISV: From Vision to Reality
About the Author

Rocky Smolin began programming computers at the age of 16 at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. He created and marketed his first commercial product in 1969 while an undergraduate at Bradley University, and received an MBA from San Diego State in 1974.

In the 1980s Smolin co-authored PMS-II, the first popular critical path Project Management System for PCs. He went on to develop and market E-Z-MRP(r) - an entry level manufacturing system for small manufacturers and The Sleep Advisor(r) - a consumer-targeted expert system to identify and remedy sleep problems.

Smolin is the author of How To Buy The Right Small Business Computer System (Wiley, 1981) and co-author of Production and Management Systems for Business (Prentice-Hall, 1990)

Today, Smolin's company, Beach Access Software (www.bchacc.com), provides custom databases and applications for a wide variety of businesses. He lives in Del Mar California with his wife of 30 years and two children.

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