Entrepreneurship seems to be the hot topic again. Business 2.0 has a great article about "the road to riches". It is a great look at the viability of the small start-up as a development platform for innovation. Coverage of Oddpost, TurnTide, Lookout, Twingo and FingerTwitch as examples of small, companies that are innovating and using acquisition as an exit strategy. The most interesting advice in this article: "Establish a business plan with a two-year maximum. Develop technology in the first 12 months, and spend no more than the next 12 developing partnerships, building sales, and finding a buyer. If you don’t have decent prospects in 24 months, think about finding another startup niche to pursue.". Wow, harsh words, but very practical.
I was at The World’s Biggest Bookstore and picked up a copy of Michael Cusumano’s The Business of Software: What Every Manager, Programmer, and Entrepreneur Must Know to Thrive and Survive in Good Times and Bad (.com). This is just a great introduction to the basics of the software business. It includes a great introduction to business models, case studies and guidance. Every software entrepreneur (actually most employees of software companies) should read this book to build an understanding of how this industry works.
I received an invitation to read The Art of The Start by Guy Kawasaki. This has been one of the best "how-to" guides for starting a new business. The first chapter is available online. Anyone starting a company (software, franchise, medical practice, whatever?) should read this book. This book reminds me of a Tom Peters book. It is beautiful and provides practical advice.