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The Who's Who of the Micro-ISV World


For a long time I’ve wished there were a list somewhere of all the micro-ISV people out there (patio11, Amy Hoy, etc.) but as far as I know, none exists. I hope I’m not being overly ambitious, but I decided to write such a thing myself:


If you’re new to the bootstrapping/micro-ISV/micropreneur world, I recommend you check out that list. I sure wish I had had that last when I started out.

If you’re already deeply involved in this scene, is there anything I missed? I’m getting ready for the pang of guilt when I realize the >= 1 super important people I left out.

If you’re already on there (or not on there but should be), feel free to set me straight if I effed up your bio at all. I’m more familiar with certain people on the list than others. I want this list to be like the definitive list of micro-ISV resources, so I’m very happy to expand and/or edit anyone’s bio if it would make the list more helpful for noobs.

Any feedback on the list is greatly appreciated. Thanks!


Wow, that’s a great list of folks that have influenced me over the past year or so. I personally got a lot out of Rob Walling’s book, “Start Small, Stay Small: A Developer’s Guide to Launching a Startup”. You linked to others’ books and you might want to add that gem to Rob’s description. http://www.startupbook.net/


Thanks, Ryan. Good idea about the book link; I added it. I also added everyone’s Twitter handles per someone else’s suggestion.

The design could probably use some work as well. The list is looking pretty cluttered now with all the links. Adding pictures of everyone might be nice, too.


Great list, but I think there’s an important person that’s missing in it: Eric Sink (http://www.ericsink.com).
I think he’s the one who coined the word, and he even did an experiment to see if the model was viable or not. Here’s one of his articles from 2004: http://www.ericsink.com/bos/Micro_ISV.html


Good catch, thanks. I added Eric.


Brilliant idea - I’m always amazed how many people I haven’t heard of before that are so relevant. The internet’s a big place…


Some older names to maybe add to the list - they might not be quite as active now, but their archives might be worth reading through:

Alwin Hoogerdijk of Collectorz fame should probably be on that list, he has a blog focused on Software Marketing that covers A/B Testing & advertising experiments. His list of negative keywords to use with Google Adwords saved me a bunch of money.

Way back around the early 2000s Eric Sink / MicroISV era, Steve Pavlina was a huge name. He’s since left the software industry to become a self help author / guru / marketer, but he wrote some articles about software marketing before he quit that got a lot of traction at the time. Look for the Dexterity Articles (his company was Dexterity Software), but you might need to look on Archive.org as he deleted them all as part of his self-reinvention.

Thomas Warfield still makes Pretty Good Solitaire, and had a blog called A Shareware Life which used to publish details of his marketing tactics & day trading experiments. He’s deleted most of it but there are archives on Archive.org. He was introduced to me at one time as “one of the shareware millionaires”, though that might just mean he did $1M in online sales over a period of a decade or so. He was doing A/B testing in the very early 2000s, setting up the equivalent of Google Analytics & split tests in his downloadable Windows software so he could track the effectiveness of in-app marketing messages, which he would tweak between version updates.

Some of Tom & Steve’s articles are in back issues of ASPects, the magazine from the Association of Shareware Professionals (now Association of Software Professionals) that was available in PDF format. Might not be a place to hang out now, but it was big in the pre-JoelOnSoftware era.

And now I feel old for posting this :wink: