Related Links

Here are links to a number of resources that anybody interested in the software business should know about. Some were mentioned in the July/August issue of IEEE Software and in the main introduction to this theme.

Books

In The Business of Software (2004), Michael Cusumano provided an early discussion of an issue that has become central in the software business since the advent of technologies such as the cloud: should software be marketed as a product or service?

A 1997 business strategy classic that still holds lessons for us today (and spawned a new area of study) was Co-Opetition by Adam M. Brandenburger and Barry J. Nalebuff. It discussed strategies of cooperation and competition that are popular in the software business today, where companies work together to create "ecosystems" where they can then compete with each other.

A prominent gadfly in the software business is Nicholas Carr, whose 2004 book Does IT Matter? shook the industry to its foundations and provoked angry responses from some of the software community's best-known figures. Carr's thesis that most software was becoming a commodity was considered a landmark by some, heresy by others. His 2008 book The Big Switch discussed the move to the cloud that I have devoted two articles to in this theme.

Forums

Since 2010, the software business has a new forum in the shape of the International Conference on the Software Business. The second edition of ICSOB was held in June 2011 in Brussels.

A useful online discussion forum frequented by many in the software business is the LinkedIn Value Management Group.

Video

In The Business of Software, Cusumano advanced the proposition that the software business was different from others. But in this video interview, Al Davis comes to a different conclusion based upon his own experience as a serial software entrepreneur over the years; for him, the software business is about meeting customer needs, just like in any other business.

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