Business Patterns for Software Developers
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A must-have recipe book for building software

Perhaps you can relate to this all-too common scenario: you know all about your software product?but could do with some help in understanding the strategic side of things. If so, this book is the one-stop resource you'll need in order to become a successful software entrepreneur. Patterns expert Allan Kelly provides you with the step-by-step route that needs to be followed in order to understand business strategy and operations. Each chapter starts out with a solid introduction and theoretical overview, which is then further illustrated with patterns and case studies, all aimed at helping you move into the management of software.

  • Teaches you the ropes of business strategy and operations for software
  • Places special emphasis on the patterns for those who make software for sale
  • Addresses patterns philosophy, patterns strategies, business strategy patterns, and software company lifecycle
  • Shares practical tools, tips, and examples of best practices so you can see how each specific pattern fits in and needs to be implemented.

Business Patterns for Software Development divulges strategies, operations, and structures for building successful software.


Allan Kelly has seen the software industry from many different angles - has held just about every job in the software world and has worked with just about every type of company there is. As a result he has seen the many different ways of doing business the industry has, and seen many of the same ways repeated.


Contents ix

Foreword xiii

Acknowledgements xvii

Chapter 1 Introduction 1

The Whole 2

The Journey to Business Patterns 6

Audience 8

A Story Book 9

Limits of the Book 10

Book Structure and How to Read 10

Sequence Diagrams 11

Comments Please 12

Chapter 2 Structure of the Software Industry 13

Types of Companies 13

Outsource and Offshore 22

Vendors and the Software Stack 24

The ISV / ESP Divide 27

Closing Words 33

Chapter 3 Software Company Lifecycle 35

Early Days 36

Growing 37

Post Start-up Middle Age 42

Investor Exit 43

Death of a Software Company 45

Death Throes 46

Walking Dead 48

Closing Words 49

Chapter 4 Strategy 51

What is Strategy? 52

Strategy, not Plans 54

Strategy as a Pattern 56

Generative Patterns 56

Identifying Strategy 58

Strategy Parallels Software Design 62

Strategy for Software Creators 65

Closing Words 68

Chapter 5 Funding the Start 71

Bootstrapping 72

Friends and Family 73

Banks 73

Angels 74

Venture Capital 74

Private Equity 75

Investor Exit 76

Funding Timing 77

Love–hate with Venture Capital 79

Closing Words 81

Chapter 6 What to Build – Patterns about Products 83

Customisation, Platforms, Frameworks and Product Lines 87

Poacher Turned Gamekeeper 91

Customer Co-Created Product 95

Simpler Product 100

Same Customers, Different Product 105

Core Product Only 110

Customisable Product 115

Simple Product Variations 121

Chapter 7 Marketing 125

The Missing Link 128

Whole Product 131

Homogenous Customers 136

Segmented Customers 141

Customer Understanding 146

Expeditionary Marketing 153

Contents xi

Chapter 8 Distribution Model 157

Direct Sales 159

Distributors 163

Choosing a Distribution Model 165

Different Product, Different Channel 166

Chapter 9 Patterns of Direct Distribution 169

Branded Shops 172

Internet Store 177

Named Sales People 182

Account Management 187

Sales/Technical Double Act 192

Chapter 10 Patterns of Indirect Distribution 197

Local Guide 200

Value Added Reseller 203

White Label 208

Independent Retailer 213

Wholesaler 217

Chapter 11 Services 221

Crossover 222

The Missing Pattern: Product from Services 225

Tailored Products – 'Specials' 229

Customise or Co-create? 233

When Services Distract from Product 234

Closing Words 238

Chapter 12 Patterns about Services 239

Products with Services 242

Initial Help 248

Lifetime Services for Products 252

Professional Services Team 258

Services Feedback 262

Personal Service 265

Self-Service 268

Corporate Certified Experts 272

Packaged Services 276

Chapter 13 Patterns about Organising Product Companies 281

Capabilities 283

Structure 286

Services Before Product 288

Single Product Company 292

Product Portfolio 296

Product Roadmap 302

Complementor, Not Competitor 309

Innovative Products 313

Separate Imaginative Teams 318

Appendix A About Patterns 323

What Is a Pattern? 324

Pattern Languages 332

Pattern Sequences 333

Improvising with Patterns 335

Anti-patterns 336

How to Read a Pattern 336

How to Write a Pattern 338

Closing Words 342

Appendix B Patterns Philosophy 343

Patterns and their Implicit Context 343

The Quality Without a Name: Wholeness 345

Events or Things 347

Sustainability: Living and Dead Patterns 347

Classifying Patterns: Good, Bad, Dead and Alive 348

Worse is Better: Path Dependency? 351

Knowledge Management and Patterns 353

Storytelling and Patterns 355

Closing Words 358

Appendix C Future Work – Patterns Arising 361

References 365

Index 375