Summary of The Business of Software

What Every Manager, Programmer, and Entrepreneur Must Know to Thrive and Survive in Good Times and Bad

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The Business of Software book summary
Becoming a software tycoon isn't as easy as it once was. Entrepreneurial focus and a great idea are just the beginning.


9 Overall

9 Applicability

8 Innovation

9 Style


Even after the dot-com boom and bust, software remains the business world’s glamour industry. In this insightful study, professor and industry expert Michael A. Cusumano skips the glitz and goes straight for the nuts and bolts. The result is a clear rendering of exactly what makes one software firm hit it big while dozens of others go broke. Despite a slight, occasional tendency to sound academic, Cusumano really explains why a well-run software company can be a gold mine. He carefully covers the best practices in the software development industry in depth and offers plenty of real-world case histories to add juice to what could have been a dry recitation. He even explains why you have to hold on so long when you call a mass-market software firm’s toll-free number. getAbstract recommends this detailed book to software pros seeking insight into their industry, as well as to investors and to those who like inside stories about entrepreneurial adventures.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Which strategic questions software firms must answer;
  • What common pitfalls software companies face; and
  • What characterizes companies that win venture capital funding, go public and succeed.


Perceptions of the Software Industry
Software is one of the few unique industries in the business world. For starters, its visionaries often set out to change the world – and succeed. For instance, as far back as the mid-1970s, the founders of Microsoft Corporation looked at the future...
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About the Author

Author Michael A. Cusumano is the Sloan Management Review Distinguished Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management. A leading expert on the software industry, he wrote the bestsellers Microsoft Secrets and Competing on Internet Time. His other titles include Japan’s Software Factories and Platform Leadership.

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