21 tools used in our MicroISV

Many, well, years, ago I started a series of articles on '25 steps for building a Micro ISV'. It's still something that I care about very much, and that I hope to get back to sharing.

In the meanwhile, here's a quick wrap up of the some of the tools we use to help run TimeSnapper, our MicroIsv.

These are by no means the 'ultimate' choice or 'best of breed' in each category -- these are just the choices that we happen to use in TimeSnapper.

I think it's interesting to see just how much software we rely upon, even though we are 'Independent'.

This also leaves out the dozens of articles and blog entries that teach, inspire or unblock along the way, and the many tools we've considered using, or the many tools we're planning to switch to.

  1. Register Domain
  2. Reliable hosting
  3. Website design -- free templates
  4. Basic Website content
    • (write it yourself)
  5. Install traffic monitoring on your site
  6. Create forums, encourage feedback
  7. Maintain a FAQ
    • (write it yourself)
  8. Get the best screenshots you can
  9. Configure email for domain
    • (all by yourself)
  10. Get payment account
  11. Allow payment from your website
    • (all by yourself)
  12. Create a PAD file -- portable application description
  13. Register at download sites
  14. Strategy: separate "free" from "professional" products
    • (all by yourself)
  15. Get a suitable end user license agreement (EULA) -- infact get two!
    • (write it yourself, with help from weasel lawyer friends)
  16. Auto update strategy
  17. License activation webservice/website
    • (we wrote our own using asp.net and firebird)
  18. Get a license management database
    • (we wrote our own)
  19. Build a proper installer
  20. Obfuscate your assemblies
  21. Automate your build+release strategy
    • We've switched from final builder pro to batch files, to ms build
  22. Free up enough time/resources for dealing with support/feedback
  23. Shiny, Usable, Helpful
  24. Plan and enact your promotional strategy
  25. Do it all again
    • No tools required ;-)

Strangely absent from the list is our current choice of source control tool -- SourceGear Vault.


My book "Choose Your First Product" is available now.

It gives you 4 easy steps to find and validate a humble product idea.

Learn more.

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