This week's book giveaway is in the Java in General forum. We're giving away four copies of Think Java: How to Think Like a Computer Scientist and have Allen B. Downey & Chris Mayfield on-line! See this thread for details.
The title of this book is a bit of a misnomer. The intro and prologue suggest that it is aimed at entrepreneurs that are looking to bootstrap a company in the IT domain. The author's background; introduction to IMVU (his company); reference to the dot-com-bubble; led me to believe that this was the case. Through the course of the book the author dilutes this focus. The book is still interesting in many ways.
What I like:
There are many anecdotes in this book. The author helps you experience some of the emotion that he went through at IMVU and other companies through them. Each short story brings out a problem and its relevant solution. Most of these are pretty common knowledge, but some stand out and give you a fresh perspective. I liked the chapters about innovation accounting and testing assumptions. It was interesting to read about how entrepreneurs tested their initial products to assert that it really solved a problem and would be used by a large group of people.
What I dislike:
1. The chapters are very wordy. Far fewer words could have been used to get the point across.
2. The focus is diluted. This book should have stuck to startups and IT. I am not really interested in governments acting like startups or why corporations should hire entrepreneurs in residence.
3. After a few chapters the book feels like a promotional tool for lean startup consulting services. That helps explain #2.
Additionally, the reference section is a separate chapter towards the end of the book. This is very annoying. I need two bookmarks just to get to the reference each time and flipping pages to get to another section breaks continuity.
I would recommend this book, but it could have turned out so much better.