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ISVCon announces seminar information for 2013 software marketing conference

July 22nd, 2013
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isvcon-2013-independent-software-vendor-conferenceThe 2013 Independent Software Vendor Conference (ISVCon), scheduled for September 27-29, 2013 at the Atlantis Casino Resort in Reno, Nevada, has released information about the panel discussions and seminars that will be presented. Designed to deliver the latest marketing ideas to small software development firms, this year’s conference includes:

  • “Sell Software on Facebook” by Nico Westerdale of BitsDuJour – Can independent software vendors (ISVs) make money selling software on Facebook? Yes. More than half of the people in the US have Facebook accounts. Learn practical ways to build your fanbase, and create posts that generate traffic.
  • “Conversations to Create More Customers” by Jessica Dewell of Red Direction – Move more software customers through your company’s sales cycle by changing from reactive conversations (such as answering email inquiries) to proactive conversations (such as listening and starting conversations.)
  • “Growing your ISV business to Multi-Device with Mobile and Mac” by David Interstimone (David I) of Embarcadero – Discover how to increase software sales by supporting a mix of client devices, UI approaches, OS versions, and emerging form factors.
  • “Connected Apps: The New Normal” by Leyla Seka of – Learn to build and deploy connected apps as your software development business evolves from the desktop/laptop world to the cloud and mobile environments.
  • “33 High Tech Business Myths, and How They Can Hurt Your Company” by Gary Elfring of Elfring Fonts Inc. – Gain insights into distinguishing between valid business ideas and the myths, folklore, and misinformation that can hurt your company.
  • “Google AdWords – Winning the War and Making It Work” by Aaron Weiner of Software Promotions – Learn how recent AdWords changes will impact your account’s performance, and how you can overcome any problems.

Other seminar titles include:

  • Practical Roadmap to High Performing Websites
  • Secondary Offer Networks
  • The Cloud for ISVs
  • Avoiding Problems When Hiring and Working with Freelancers

Visit to read about new seminars that will be added during the summer.

Sign up for the conference by September 22 to take advantage of ISVCon’s $820.50(US) registration fee. Registration includes three days of intense education and networking opportunities plus a Thursday evening reception, and break rooms full of snacks and helpful representatives from the conference’s sponsors.

Previously known as the Software Industry Conference (SIC), ISVCon carries on a 22 year tradition of supporting independent software developers’ business and marketing efforts with seminars, presentations, and networking opportunities.

ISVCon is owned and presented by The Association of Software Professionals. Sponsors for ISVCon 2013 include FastSpring, Avangate, Tightrope Interactive, Software Promotions, Greentram Software, and The Association of Software Professionals. Visit for more information about attending ISVCon 2013. Or visit for information about sponsoring the conference.

Announcements, Uncategorized ,

Software as Holiday Gifts

July 8th, 2013
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software as holiday giftsSome software developers have experimented with enticing customers to purchase their software as gifts for friends, family members, and business colleagues. Most of these efforts have revolved around the year-end holidays.

Truth is, some microISVs can increase their sales by promoting their applications as gifts for all types of holidays.

Here are some 2010 numbers for US holiday gift spending. The figures were compiled by the National Retail Federation.

  • Winter Holidays – $462 (billion)
  • Mother’s Day – $16.3
  • Valentine’s Day – $15.7
  • Easter – $14.7
  • Father’s Day $9.8
  • Halloween $5.8

    – by Al Harberg, the Software Marketing Blog guy

Articles, Uncategorized , ,

July 2013 ASPects Online Now: Windows 8.1, Finding Good Customers, Time Management

July 1st, 2013
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ASPects for July is available now to ASP members. Al Harberg writes about keeping good customers. Gianfranco Berardi manages time in 15-minute blocks. And there’s an early review of the Windows 8.1 Preview for Developers.

ASPects, July 2013

ISVCon News: New Speaker, Reno Events II

by Sue Pichotta
We’re excited to announce the addition of Jessica Dewell as a speaker at ISVCon. Jessica is an internet marketer and experienced conference speaker. She was formerly with Digital River, and before that, RegNow… (page 1)

Trade Show Calendar

ISVCon, September 27-29, 2013 (page 2)

Windows 8.1 Consumer Preview: There’s Still No Start Button

by Jerry Stern

Dateline, June 27th: Today is the second day of Microsoft’s Build conference for developers in San Francisco…

The seminar has been promoted as the launch event for the developer community of Windows 8.1, also known as code name “Windows Blue…”  (page 3)

ASP News:
MOTION : Update PAD Rights, Requirements and Usage Guidelines (page 5)

ASP Hall of Fame Nomination Period Has Ended (page 5)

Finding Good Software Customers and Firing Bad Ones

by Al Harberg

New software developers try to get as many customers as possible. Over time, they realize that customer quality is more important than quantity. Here are some insights on how microISVs can find good software customers, and fire bad ones… (page 7)

Magical Software Adjacencies

by Al Harberg

Retail stores use magic to better merchandise their products and increase their sales. So says Paco Underhill, the author of Why We Buy–The Science of Shopping.

Underhill discusses techniques that managers of retail stores use to grab prospects’ attention. With a little creativity, microISVs can use many of these techniques to sell more software… (page 8 )

Accomplishment, 15 Minutes at a Time

by Gianfranco Berardi

As an entrepreneur, setting your own hours sounds freeing, but depending on your purpose, goals, and motivations, you might find it difficult to get things done… (page 9)


ASP Member News

Font Editor Supports OpenType Layout, Automatic Hinting, Web Open Font Format (page 11)

Real Time Logic Web Server Delivers Rapid Development of Dynamic Web Application (page 11)

Easily Record Audio fromYou Tube, Google Talk, Skype (page 11)

Organize your recipes with Home Cookin (page 11)

News & Press Corner
Walgreens App Developer Program (page 12)

Intellectual Property: A Key Driver of our Economy (page 12)

ASPects Newsletter, Uncategorized

It's My Name – What's in a name?

June 8th, 2013

Hello everyone, my name is Steve Mekkelsen Madden, or Steven Michael Mekkelsen Madden if you want my full legal name.  🙂  So why am I being formal here of all places?  The answer is quite simple actually, I am creating this blog so that I can get all my fellow software engineers comments and opinions on a very real life software problem; the “name” fields and then make a decision to change the world, or at least a standard anyways.

As you can probably surmise, this subject has to do with changing some of our standards and ways we view/think about what we set name type fields to be in our software applications.  Are we using a 1970’s, a 21st Century standard or something in between them?  I’ve spent a considerable amount of time fighting with organizations to support our name in their business applications, only to be told, sorry Steve, we just don’t have enough spaces for your last name or we can’t put a space in a last name field.  This is just one sad story after another and it is now time that “we” set a new Global Software Standard for Names!

User Name Standards Proposal to Association of Software Professionals

Overview: When the computing era began to hit the retail markets and consumers back in the 1970’s, disk space was at a premium cost for each byte/character used.  As a result, some field names were set extremely short like AN (account name), or AcctN (account name).  There were also restrictions on the number of bytes allocated for the values of these fields and hence a name field could be as short as 15 characters for both the first and last names.

At the time, world travel was still in its infancy and our standards were not compromised.  When all the new airlines came in and started offering round trip flights to most parts of the world, this also led the U.S. into a new era of foreigners coming to the U.S. and staying either on VISA’s or as new citizens.  So what’s the issue you may ask?  Well first, let’s think about what our most common names were at the time.  We didn’t have many personal computers in the market place, so we didn’t have to worry about how long names were.  But even in the 1970’s, a name like Steve Madden, Tom Jones, Albert Einstein and Bill Cosby would fit in our 15 character values for whatever software may have been available at that time.  Unfortunately, other countries citizens names didn’t quite follow our standards because their culture included family names and some on both spouses families which makes for a very long name.

So flash forward to today where personal computers are in almost every household in the U.S. and abroad. Now the standard short 15 character name field becomes a serious limitation to the software.  Now let’s consider businesses and what services they have to offer for their customers.  There are fields like account_name, customer_name, legal_name, billing_name, mailing_name, etc.  There are many fields which attempt to cover what is needed for today’s marketplace.  Unfortunately, we still fall short even with the field names and values.  With “disk cost” being at its all time low, we still as software developers, restrict the amount of spaces to be used and what is worse, what the default validation on those field values impose.  Some software restrict the use of dashes “-” or spaces in a name field value.  Well, as you may or may not know, the name field values can contain spaces and dashes in them and are perfectly legal.  Did you know that you can go to a court in the U.S. and request a name change to virtually anything you want (within reason, and not to escape debts of any kind)?  The judge will speak with you during the name change process and approve or deny the request.  This is very common when citizens get married and want to include their name in some way or for other reasons.  If our software cannot accommodate these scenarios, then we have failed as software professionals.

An example is the use of my legal name “Steven Michael Mekkelsen Madden”  where “Steven” is my first name, “Michael” is my middle name and “Mekkelsen Madden” is my last name(s).  My maiden name (name prior to marriage or name change) is “Madden”.  When my wife and I married, I added her last name before my last name and she added my last name after hers resulting in SherriLee Mekkelsen Madden.  So that gives me 31 characters for my name and 26 for my wife’s.  Sounds simple right?  Not so!  We have issues with State and Local Government Offices, Healthcare Professionals (Insurance, Hospitals, Doctors and Specialists), Utility Companies like Telephone, Cable, Satellite, HVAC’s and as well as Department Stores and Banks who provide a credit/debit/store card of some kind where our names just does not fit.  Our youngest daughter also has two middle name “Violet Mary” so when she is asked to provide her middle initial she is not happy when the software only allows one middle initial.

That’s the overview behind this proposal to correct our series of name issues across all markets and once and for all provide an industry standard for “name” fields and values to support organizations and individuals on a Global Scale!  This link contains the content of this post “plus” two tables describing each field name, value and validation imposed.  Supporting this new standard may require programmatic changes to support increased field widths on a variety of displayed data and/or printed data on forms, pdf files, cards, etc.  I am looking for your comments, suggestions and your support.  If you support this and agree to make the changes in your software applications (or already do), please add them here and I will make sure they are also posted on my websites.


Announcements, Articles, Uncategorized

June 2013 ASPects Online: Press Release Tips, SaaS, PAD

June 1st, 2013
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The ASPects for June is available to download for ASP members now. Al Harberg has competed his press release success tips for microISVs this month. Dennis Reinhardt tells us why a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) conversion may work for your product. The new trademark guidelines for PAD have been published, and there is industry news, trade events, and more.

ASPects, June 2016ASPects, June 2013

ISVCon News: New Speaker Added: Leyla Seka
by Sue Pichotta
We’re excited to announce the addition of Leyla Seka, VP at, to our speaker line-up. Leyla will be talking about how to successfully build and deploy connected apps…. (page 1)

Nominate Your Favorite ASP Member for the Hall of Fame
by Gianfranco Berardi
Your Association of Software Professionals is run by members, for members. Any projects, committees, and accomplishments of the organization are due to the efforts of members like you who contribute their talents, knowledge, and time to make them happen.
   The ASP Hall of Fame recognizes individuals who go above and beyond the normal levels of volunteerism to contribute to the organization…. (page 1)

Trade Show Calendar
ISVCon, September 27-29, 2013 (page 2)

The Sixteen Keys to microISV Press Release Success. Part 2
by Al Harberg
Avoid the most common mistakes that microISVs make in their press release writing, and you’ll get a much better response from editors, bloggers, and software reviewers. Here is the second part of my article on press release tips and tricks for software developers... (page 3)

Why Deploy an Application as SaaS?
by Dennis Reinhardt
With news of declining PC sales and poor reception of Windows 8, many of us have to be contemplating what is the most strategic platform for the future. Is it Mac? Android? iPad/iPhone? Pre-Windows 8 PC? Metro?
   Adapting SaaS (Software as a Service) is strategic move that avoids making a choice…. (page 6)

ASP News:
MOTION: Adopt PAD Policy, as Revised (page 6)
PAD Rights, Requirements and Usage Guidelines (page 6)

News & Press Corner
FTC Sends Educational Letters to Businesses to Help Them Prepare for COPPA Update (page 10)
Cornyn Introduces Bill to Curb Abusive Patent Litigation (page 11)
New Product Innovation to be Delivered Exclusively Through Adobe Creative Cloud (page 11)
Corel Offers Powerful Alternatives to Creative Cloud (page 12)
Apple’s App Store Marks Historic 50 Billionth Download (page 12)
Digital River Opens Office in Moscow, Russia (page 12)

ASPects Newsletter, News, Uncategorized

ISVCon, the Software Industry Conference, is now opening sponsor registration for the 2013 conference.

May 14th, 2013
Comments Off on ISVCon, the Software Industry Conference, is now opening sponsor registration for the 2013 conference.


ISVCon2013 Logo (redesigned by Jerry Stern)


ISVCon, the Software Industry Conference,  is now opening sponsor registration for the 2013 conference.

Quick Links

About the ConferenceSponsorship OptionsBecome a Sponsor/Exhibitor



ISVCon 2013 will once again be held at the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa in Reno, Nevada.  The Atlantis, a 4-Star hotel, was recently awarded the prestigious 4-Diamond rating.  It has a beautiful, modern conference area, with a large, comfortable, and surprisingly quiet foyer overlooking the casino.  The property includes 9 restaurants and 10 lounges, and a cabaret with live entertainment.  It is also just a 10-minute ride from the Reno airport via the Atlantis’ free airport shuttle.

Reno is located in Northern Nevada, a wonderful area with lots to do both inside and outside of the casinos.  Reno is just 15 miles from the California border, and is a popular weekend vacation destination for Northern California residents.


New Dates, Days, and Options

ISVCon 2013 will be held September 27-29.  The conference will run for 2-1/2 days, Friday through mid-day Sunday.  We’re hoping to attract lots of new faces, given that Reno is within driving distance for San Francisco/Silicon Valley, and we are also planning to do considerable marketing.


Sponsorship Levels

Our existing Sponsorship levels, prices, and benefits received an update this year.  Our Silver Sponsorship is priced at $1299 and includes 2 free conference registrations;  our Gold Sponsorship is priced at $2599 and includes 4 free conference registrations and a free Sponsor Table; while our Platinum Sponsorship is priced at $4999 and includes 8 free conference registrations, and 2 free Sponsor Tables.  All sponsorships include many other benefits, please see our Sponsorship Options page for more information.

Also, we’ve added a new Sponsorship option this year!  Our new “MISV” sponsorship level was added by request, for those industry participants who don’t necessarily want to exhibit, but simply want to attend and show their support for the event.  This new sponsorship level is priced at just $599, and like our other sponsorship levels, it includes a variety of perks and benefits.  See our Sponsorship Options page for more information about this new sponsorship level.


Sponsor Tables Instead of Break Room Booths or Hospitality Suites

You may notice that instead of having “Break Room Booths” or “Hospitality Suites” we now offer the availability of Sponsor Tables.  These Sponsor Tables will be set up in the main foyer/break room area of the conference, which is located directly in the path of the session and lunch rooms… meaning that each and every conference attendee must pass through this area in order to get to any of the presentations, breakfasts, or lunches!  The break room is also where all the snacks and refreshments will be located, so the attendees will congregate there between events and sessions.  The Sponsor Table concept was added by request from previous sponsors, and will include tables and chairs rather than pre-defined “exhibit booth” style areas.  This area will be open for attendees during the entire conference schedule, and will also be part of the Welcome Reception and other special events during the conference.  Sponsor Table spaces are limited, and will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis.


Your Sponsorship

Your sponsorship of ISVCon will help support this long-standing industry conference, and give you an opportunity to meet with both experienced ISVs and start-ups in a new, exciting, and professional setting.  The sooner you sign up as a sponsor, the sooner your logo/ad box will be displayed on the ISVCon website for visitors to see.  Early sponsorship also helps support the conference financially, and is appreciated.  And, early sponsorship allows you to receive primary placement for your Sponsor Table areas, which have limited availability and will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis.


Please consider supporting ISVCon with your sponsorship.  To become an ISVCon sponsor, just follow the instructions at our Become a Sponsor page.  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.  I look forward to working with you.


Sincerely yours,

Rich Holler
Sponsor Manager, ISVCon


P.S.  Attendee registration is ongoing, so signing up for sponsorship right away will insure that your company logo/ad will be displayed on the ISVCon website as more attendees come to register.

Announcements, Articles, News, Uncategorized , , , , , , , , ,

Marketing Cloud Applications

May 7th, 2013
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Cloud computing for microISVsProspects are learning more and more about cloud computing. Whether you sell software as a service (SaaS) or applications that run on laptops/desktops, tablets, or smartphones, you need to understand how cloud computing is being sold, and how it is being perceived in the software marketplace.

The February 22, 2013 issue of Processor magazine reports that a recent survey from KPMG International revealed that about half of businesses and nonprofits have moved some of their applications to the cloud.

Here’s what these early adopters of cloud computing are finding:

About one third of the people surveyed said that the costs of moving to the cloud were higher than they had planned. This means that whether you’re offering solutions that run locally or in the cloud, you need to weave both the expectations and the realities of cloud computing expenses into your marketing message.

About one third found that they experienced “significant implementation challenges” when moving to the cloud. Again, microISVs need to weave this information into their marketing presentations. If you offer desktop/laptop applications, then tout the control, security, and stability that businesses enjoy when data and programs reside on computers that they control. If you offer SaaS, then explain why moving from the desktop/laptop environment to your cloud-based application won’t be burdensome.

More than one quarter of the people surveyed said that they had experienced significant security-related problems. These problems need to be part of your marketing message, too. If you’re offering SaaS, explain how you’ve already addressed and eliminated the security problems commonly associated with moving to the cloud. If you’re selling desktop/laptop solutions, talk about how safe and secure they are.

Some of the people who took the survey said that they are working on legal and regulatory issues associated with cloud computing. While Processor magazine didn’t go into much detail, there seem to be tax and earnings issues that need to be addressed. Software developers need to monitor all of these cloud-related issues, and weave them into their marketing messages.

Until now, cloud computing was a fresh idea with a handful of hypothetical problems. As more and more businesses move applications to the cloud, the problems will become much more real. Stay on top of the cloud computing movement, and make sure your marketing plan reflects both current perceptions and current realities.

Articles, Uncategorized , ,

May 2013 ASPects is Online: Press Releases, Apps for Office 2013

May 1st, 2013
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The May ASPects is available for ASP members now. Al Harberg has explained the first half of his core tips for press release success for microISVs. Danile Heuman talks about getting into Office apps early. And there is industry news, trade events, and more.

ASPects, May 2013ASPects, May 2013
ISVCon Speakers Announced for Reno
by Gianfranco Berardi

I’m in the middle of reading The Art of Possibility by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander. It’s a short and enjoyable book, filled with anecdotes and practices on living a life of possibility as opposed to one of scarcity…. (page 1)

Trade Show Calendar
ISVCon, September 27-29, 2013 (page 2)

The Sixteen Keys to microISV Press Release Success, Part I
by Al Harberg
You can increase your software sales by sending a well-written press release to editors and bloggers. But emailing a press release that’s badly written won’t get your cash register ringing. In my 29-year career of writing and distributing press releases for software developers, I’ve learned a lot about what the editors are looking for. Here are the most important tips and tricks that I’ve learned…(page 3)

ASP News
2013 budget (pages 4-7)

Apps for Office: A New Frontier
by Daniel Heuman
What made the birth of the iPhone so important for ISVs? A new technology? A new way of accessing the internet? A platform available around the world with apps verified by a tech giant? It was probably a combination of all these factors, so it’s significant that Microsoft has re-created that for Office 2013.
   If you haven’t heard of apps for Office, they’re worth understanding. Built into the Office 2013 ribbon is an option to ‘Insert Apps for Office’. It links directly to the MS Office store where you can download apps… (page 7)

ASP Member News
Jarte – Touchable Alternative in Word Processing (page 8 )
New Book Illuminates Candelas, Lumens, and Lux (page 8 )
Write and Publish Online User Manuals with Manula (page 8 )

News & Press Corner
Amazon Expands Global App Distribution to Nearly 200 Countries (page 10)
Embarcadero Technologies Unveils Multi-Device, True Native App Development Suite (page 10)
FTC Seeks Input on Privacy and Security Implications of the Internet of Things (page 10)
Symantec Internet Security Threat Report Reveals Increase in Cyberespionage (page 11)
AnDevCon $300 Discount Expires Friday, May 10th (page 11)

ASPects Newsletter, Uncategorized

Software that's as Boring as Salt

April 13th, 2013
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software as boring as saltSalt is not boring, Seth Godin tells us in his book “Purple Cow – Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable.” Sure, salt has been sold for centuries as a commodity. Today, however, lots of companies are selling exotic salt for very high prices – and very high profit margins.

Is your software more boring than salt?

Then find a way to change the software so you can get people excited about it. Godin isn’t suggesting that you wrap your application in sales hype. He wants you to change the application itself. Convert it into a purple cow that people will get excited about.

Figure out how people in other industries have started with boring products, and made them exciting. Popcorn comes to mind.

“Find things that are ‘just not done’ in your industry,” Godin tells us, “and do them.”

    – by Al Harberg, the Software Marketing Blog guy

Articles, Uncategorized ,

April 2013 ASPects Online

April 1st, 2013
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The April ASPects is available for ASP members today. There are articles about defining a market for your software, finding a partner, and modeling computer security on swiss cheese, and more.

ASPects, March 2013ASPects, April 2013
Having Purpose in Business, in Life, and in Your ASP

by Gianfranco Berardi
A symphony is an intricately detailed piece of design. It doesn’t work if a violinist can show up halfway through and play any random series of notes. It doesn’t work if the conductor decides to take the night off. It doesn’t work if there isn’t music written in front of everyone that is cohesive and aligned… (page 1)

Trade Show Calendar
ISVCon, September 27-29, 2013 (page 2)

Help Prospects Buy Your Software
by Al Harberg
Consumers know that they have choices. But they don’t know how to decide. So says Sergio Zyman in his excellent book The End of Marketing As We Know It. Zyman says that we should help consumers decide. While Zyman’s experience is in selling Coca-Cola and not software, his advice would be to help prospects decide by defining ourselves, by defining our competitors, and by positioning ourselves in the software marketplace. (page 3)

Growing your mISV by growing your team

by Jiri Novotny
I think that the two things limiting growth of mISVs the most are insufficient focus on marketing and fear/reluctance to get a business partner (co-founder) or hire the first employee and then continue growing the team from there…. (page 5)

Swiss Cheese for Advanced Windows Security
by Jerry Stern
You can’t function when your computers are down, either down at my repair bench for a cleanup, or in slowdown mode, infected, phoning home with your account numbers, or bogged down sending out SPAM for a bot farmer. And security suites are slowdowns of another variety. There has to be a way for an advanced user to keep computers both fast and safe. Here’s how, but this approach is not for beginners…. (page 6)

Your Tiny Software Marketplace
by Al Harberg
There is no software marketplace. What we call the software marketplace is made up of thousands of tiny niches, each with its own issues and problems. It’s not always possible to take good advice from a microISV in one marketing niche, and apply this wisdom to a different part of the software development industry…. (page 9)

ASP Member News

Aha-Soft Releases Quality App Bar Icon Pack for the Windows 8 (page 9)

News & Press Corner
Adobe and BSA Urge Congress to Support Software Innovation by Improving Patent Quality and Curbing Opportunistic Litigation (page 10)
SIIA Says U.S. Businesses Should Register with ICANN Trademark Clearinghouse to Protect Themselves from Intellectual Property Theft (page 11)
Google to Pay $7 Million Settlement over Street View (page 11)

ASPects Newsletter, Uncategorized