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Press Releases for Software Developers
from Al Harberg of DP Directory

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Software marketing book - What Were They Thinking?

from Al Harberg's collection of software marketing book reviews, written to help you sell more software applications

Book review of What Were They Thinking? Marketing Lessons You Can Learn from Products That Flopped by Robert M. McMath and Thom Forbes (published by Times Business - Random House). An examination of the truly stupid marketing mistakes that large companies have made, and ideas about how they might help mISVs' software marketing.
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Review of Robert McMath's book What Were They Thinking?

Overview of Robert McMath's "What Were They Thinking?"

What Were They Thinking? by Robert M. McMath and Thom Forbes McMath believes that new products succeed when "just about everything that needs to go right does go right." By examining some of the really dumb things that have been done by large, established, well-funded companies, we can avoid making similar mistakes in our own firms.

Software developers and Robert McMath's
What Were They Thinking?

While you can read this book quickly, it's not a quick read.

You have to translate everything that McMath says into the software industry. For example, he believes that the number-one killer of new products is Me-Tooism. The book talks about how Crest was introduced in 1955 as a Colgate look-alike, and how it eventually became the toothpaste market leader. And you have to translate this toothpaste information into questions such as, "Does it make sense for me to develop a Me-Too pop-up blocker?"

As another example, the author discusses why premeasured products rarely succeed in the marketplace. Individuals want to decide how much coffee to brew, or how much clothes detergent to use. They don't want premeasured packets or bags. But you have to translate this into software terms and think about how much functionality to include in your next program. Should my app be bare-bones, so the user can use it immediately? Or should I pack it with wall-to-wall features, and risk confusing a lot of prospects?

Should software vendors read "What Were They Thinking?"

It's a great read. It makes microISVs think about all aspects of software marketing, from pricing to packaging to naming. I strongly recommend this book to people in the software development industry.


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