A Million Lessons
Last updated on 2016-03-10
About the Book
When Peter Armstrong and Scott Patten founded Leanpub in 2010, they had a clear purpose: to create the best way to write and publish in-progress ebooks.
By “the best”, they didn’t just intend to develop the best toolchain and workflow for authors and publishers. They also intended to actually help authors make money from their writing. Even if you were just a few chapters in, even if your target audience were limited to only a thousand or so other experts in your field, Leanpub was supposed to help you actually get paid for all the work you do, writing and marketing your book.
Recently, Leanpub passed the point where it has helped authors earn more than $1,000,000. This is an important milestone for any bootstrapped startup: for us, it is a proof of concept, validating the Lean Publishing philosophy.
It’s also a big moment for us in another, very special sense. We’ve only reached this milestone because of the feedback we’ve received from our “early adopter” authors. Leanpub was built on the principles of Customer Development, which means that Leanpub authors are not just users. They are also contributors to the development of Leanpub.
So, this book is both a commemoration of an important milestone for a startup, and a tribute to our hard-working (and very smart) authors. It consists of transcriptions from the Lean Publishing Podcast and selected responses to a recent Leanpub author survey. We hope you enjoy reading about our authors’ careers, their interests, and their experiences as pioneers at the frontier of 21st-century publishing.
Peter Armstrong, Scott Patten and Len Epp
December 19, 2013
Update: you can check out my books and buy them at http://webapplog.com/books.
Azat Mardan has over 12 years of experience in web, mobile and software development. With a Bachelor’s Degree in Informatics and a Master of Science in Information Systems Technology degree, Azat possesses deep academic knowledge as well as extensive practical experience.
Recently, he has worked as an engineer at the curated social media news aggregator website, Storify.com (acquired by LiveFyre). Before that, Azat worked as a CTO/co-founder at Gizmo — an enterprise cloud platform for mobile marketing campaigns, and has undertaken the prestigious 500 Startups business accelerator program. Previously, he was developing mission-critical applications for government agencies in Washington, DC: National Institutes of Health, National Center for Biotechnology Information,Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and Lockheed Martin. Azat is a frequent attendee at Bay Area tech meet-ups and hackathons (AngelHack hackathon ’12 finalist with team FashionMetric.com).
In his spare time, Azat writes about technology on his blog: webAppLog.com which is number one in “express.js tutorial” Google search results. Azat is also the author of Express.js Guide, Rapid Prototyping with JS and Oh My JS!
Caitlin holds a PhD in Arab and Islamic Studies from the University of Exeter. She is an award-winning scholar and writer about digital communities, data science, and dance. She does amazing things with data for a leading edtech company based in London. You can follow her blog where she covers topics ranging from dance to data science.
Chris Hartjes has been building web applications of all shapes and sizes since 1998, with a focus on best practices and how to use testing as an effective development tool.
By day he works as a Senior QA Engineer for Mozilla while by night he works on building his online info-product empire through http://grumpy-learning.com. He also is one of the organizers of the True North PHP conference.
He lives in Milton, Ontario, Canada with his long-suffering wife, two daughters, and a feline Office Manager.
I have a passion for knowledge and I realise that part of the responsibility of gathering knowledge is being able to advance the state of the human condition in some way.
My aims in writing these books were to play with software, achieve a personal goal and try something new for fun. It also helps that I think Open Source, graphs and the visual representation of data rock in serious ways.
I don't have a formal coding background so the way I explain things is focussed on trying to impart that understanding in a simple but functional way.
I'm totally in awe of the Open Source community that has made this type of work possible.
- Époux et père de famille
- Citoyen du monde
- Français et tunisien de coeur
- Ingénieur de formation et, parfois, de profession
- Acteur consentant et énervé de la globalisation
- Spectateur du Tour de France
- Blogueur autoproclamé
- Écrivain épisodique
- Aux intérêts multiples et souvent contradictoires : innovation, Tunisie, France, généalogie, écriture, humour, histoire, web, philatélie, projets, révolutions, agilité, langue(s), économie, chroniques, sourire ...
- Contribuable invétéré, abonné à l'électricité et à la redevance télévisuelle mais pas au gaz
- Et bien plus encore ...
Andrew Dubber is Professor of Music Industries Innovation at Birmingham City University. He's a member of the Centre for Media and Cultural Research, and is Award Leader for the MA in Music Industries (which can be studied online via distance learning from anywhere in the world) and also runs the MA in Music Radio.
He is the founder of New Music Strategies, a pan-European music consultancy and strategy organisation focusing primarily on non-commercial and social projects that use music to improve lives. He is also a member of the Board of Advisors for Bandcamp.
He can be found online at http://andrewdubber.com
J. B. Rainsberger helps software companies better satsify their customers and the businesses they support. Over the years, he has learned to write valuable software, overcome many of his social deficiencies, and built a life that he loves. He travels the world sharing what he's learned, hoping to help other people get what they want out of work and out of their lives. Even though he's traveled Europe most of the past two years, he lives in Atlantic Canada with his wife, Sarah, and two cats.
I've always been interested in helping smart people be happy and productive. To that end, I've published books on human behavior, including Weinberg on Writing: The Fieldstone Method, The Psychology of Computer Programming, Perfect Software and Other Fallacies, and an Introduction to General Systems Thinking. I've also written books on leadership including Becoming a Technical Leader, The Secrets of Consulting (Foreword by Virginia Satir), More Secrets of Consulting, and the nine-volume Quality Software series.
I try to incorporate my knowledge of science, engineering, and human behavior into all of my writing and consulting work (with writers, hi-tech researchers, software engineers, and people whose life-situation could require the use of a service dog). I write novels about such people, including The Aremac Project, Aremac Power, Jigglers, First Stringers, Second Stringers, The Hands of God, Freshman Murders, Where There's a Will There's a Murder, Earth's Endless Effort, and Mistress of Molecules—all about how my brilliant protagonists produce quality work and learn to be happy. My books that are not yet on Leanpub may be found as eBooks at <http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/JerryWeinberg>; on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B000AP8TZ8; and at Barnes and Noble bookstore: http://tinyurl.com/4eudqk5.
Early in my career, I was the architect for the Project Mercury's space tracking network and designer of the world's first multiprogrammed operating system. I won the Warnier Prize, the Stevens Award, and the first Software Testing Professionals' Luminary Award, all for my writing on software quality. I was also elected a charter member of the Computing Hall of Fame in San Diego and chosen for the University of Nebraska Hall of Fame.
But the "award" I'm most proud of is the book, The Gift of Time (Fiona Charles, ed.) written by my student and readers for my 75th birthday. Their stories make me feel that I've been at least partially successful at helping smart people be happy.
Johanna Rothman, known as the “Pragmatic Manager,” provides frank advice for your tough problems. She helps leaders and teams see problems and resolve risks and manage their product development.
Johanna has been managing projects and programs since the Neanderthal era. She is the current agileconnection.com technical editor. She is the author of these books:
- Agile and Lean Program Management: Scaling Collaboration Across the Organization
- Predicting the Unpredictable: Pragmatic Approaches to Estimating Cost or Schedule
- Diving for Hidden Treasures: Finding The Real Value in Your Project Portfolio
- Project Portfolio Tips: Twelve Ideas for Focusing on the Work You Need to Start & Finish
- Manage Your Job Search
- Hiring Geeks That Fit
- Manage Your Project Portfolio: Increase Your Capacity and Finish More Projects
- The 2008 Jolt Productivity award-winning Manage It! Your Guide to Modern, Pragmatic Project Management
- Behind Closed Doors: Secrets of Great Management (with Esther Derby)
- Corrective Action for the Software Industry (with Denise Robitaille)
In addition, she is a contributor to:
Johanna writes the Pragmatic Manager, a monthly email newsletter. She writes two blogs on her site, www.jrothman.com, as well as a blog on www.createadaptablelife.com. She is a columnist about management for Techwell.com and is a columnist about agile project management for projectmanagement.com.
Manuel Kiessling is a software developer and IT manager living in Cologne, Germany. He's interested in Behaviour- and Test-Driven Development and Agile practices.
Paul Bradshaw runs the MA in Data Journalism and the MA in Multiplatform and Mobile Journalism at Birmingham City University, where he is an associate professor. He publishes the Online Journalism Blog, and is the founder of investigative journalism website HelpMeInvestigate. He has written for the Guardian and Telegraph’s data blogs, journalism.co.uk, Press Gazette, InPublishing, Nieman Reports and the Poynter Institute in the US. Formerly Visiting Professor at City University’s School of Journalism in London, He is the author of the Online Journalism Handbook, now in its second edition, and of Magazine Editing (3rd Edition) with John Morrish. Other books which Bradshaw has contributed to include Investigative Journalism (second edition), Web Journalism: A New Form of Citizenship; and Citizen Journalism: Global Perspectives.
His books on Leanpub include Scraping for Journalists, Finding Stories in Spreadsheets, the Data Journalism Heist, Snapchat for Journalists, and 8000 Holes: How the 2012 Olympic Torch Relay Lost its Way.
Bradshaw has been listed in Journalism.co.uk’s list of the leading innovators in journalism and media and Poynter’s most influential people in social media. In 2010, he was shortlisted for Multimedia Publisher of the Year. In 2016 he was part of a team that won the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards.
In addition to teaching and writing, Paul acts as a consultant and trainer to a number of organisations on social media and data journalism. You can find him on Twitter @paulbradshaw
But also scholar, lecturer, former computer programmer, with a background in science, a passion for history and literary biography, and an interest in the relationship between belief and perception. This sentence should explain my (perhaps disparate-seeming) writing interests: fiction and poetry (including The Marlowe Papers and Devotion), scholarly articles and books on Shakespeare and Marlowe (including Shakespeare the Evidence), and self-development work (including How to Achieve the Impossible). Having tried to separate myself into these different pockets for a few years (aware that to many they seem incompatible) I am now stitching myself together.
I love fiction. But I also love fact. There is a lot of fiction being passed off as fact, and vice versa. I do what I can to redress the balance.
I like clarity. I aim to achieve more of it. I try to help others have more of it too.
There. Suddenly everything I do makes sense.
Roy Osherove is the author of The Art Of Unit Testing, and has been in leadership roles for most of his professional life, acting as team lead, CTO and architect in many places. He's had many failures to learn from but also some great successes, that he likes to share by doing training courses and mentoring. You can read his blog at 5whys.com
Ryan Bigg won a Ruby Hero Award in 2011 for his work on documentation within the Ruby on Rails community, including work on several of the official Ruby on Rails guides, and his first book Rails 3 in Action, which is now in its second edition as Rails 4 in Action. On the Leanpub side of things, he wrote Multitenancy with Rails.
He previously worked full-time on the open-source parts of Spree Commerce as the Community Manager, but now works full-time at Culture Amp. Oh, and he is well-known on Stack Overflow for providing great answers for Ruby and Rails questions.
He even has a blog.
Patrick Kua is author of “The Retrospective Handbook: A guide for agile teams” and "Talking with Tech Leads: From Novices to Practitioners." Patrick brings harmony to technical and non-technical realms, leading teams and writing software for production systems in .Net, Java and Ruby.
Patrick is passionate about working closely with teams, helping them grow and learn with sustainable and long-term change, and sometimes facilitating situations beyond adversity. Patrick relies on retrospectives as a basis for improving teams, and is passionate about helping people achieve maximum value from the retrospective practice.
Hi everybody, I'm a front end web developer who dips into server side but usually only concerned with the restful resources. I love working on open source projects and love sharing things I learn as it consolidates my knowledge. I also study philosophy part time as one of my greater interest.
For 15 years Willem designed cutting-edge learning tools for all ages in the natural sciences—at the Oregon Zoo, OMSI, Tryon Creek State Park, and the Eddy Foundation Land Trust. He was a founding partner of Cascadia Wild!, a founding member of TrackersNW, and a former partner at "Where Are Your Keys?" co-developing the approach that led to the craft of Language Hunting.
Willem believes that languages, traditions, and skills are treasures that communities hold as a whole—only by learning together can we create the rich lives we want for each other.
Willem Larsen is Creative Director of Language Hunters, a 501(c)(3) non-profit based in Portland, OR.
Stay updated at http://blog.languagehunters.org
The Agile community knows Yves Hanoulle from his many contributions, such as the public Agile conferences Google calendar, his Agile Thursday Quiz, the coach retreats and conferences he’s paired to organize, daily coaching questions via @Retroflections, and the Agile Games Google group, just to name a few. He promoted PairCoaching, an idea which has been adopted by many agile trainers and coaches. He’s constantly learning, and passing on what he learns as a coach and trainer to organizations large and small.
A self-identified change artist and first follower, one of Yves’ unique qualities is that he gives free lifetime support on anything he does: every client, everything he writes and presents, every workshop he leads.
Yves believes in maintaining a sustainable pace both professionally and personally. Yves has parentpair programmed an android game with his 13 year old son www.anguis.be You can learn more about Yves at http://www.hanoulle.be/yves-hanoulle/, and find him on social media as YvesHanoulle.
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