Getting Real cover

Getting Real

A must read for anyone building a web app. Getting Real is packed with keep-it-simple insights, contrarian points of view, and unconventional approaches to software design. This isn't a technical book or a design tutorial, it's a book of ideas. Anyone working on a web app - including entrepreneurs, designers, programmers, executives, or marketers - will find value and inspiration in this book.

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“I got more out of reading this little e-book than just about any other computer-related book I’ve ever read on any topic that I can possibly think of. Whoa.”

-Jared White

“Getting Real is now officially our ‘bible.’”

-Bill Emmack

“I can honestly say that this is the first book I’ve read about software development that has been able to reignite my passion for the process. It is an incredible and very relevant book. Thank you guys for publishing it.”

-Anthony Papillion

Full list of essays included in the book


  • What is Getting Real?
  • About 威斯尼斯人
  • Caveats, disclaimers, and other preemptive strikes

The Starting Line

  • Build Less
  • What’s Your Problem?
  • Fund Yourself
  • Fix Time and Budget, Flex Scope
  • Have an Enemy
  • It Shouldn’t be a Chore

Stay Lean

  • Less Mass
  • Lower Your Cost of Change
  • The Three Musketeers
  • Embrace Constraints
  • Be Yourself


  • What’s the big idea?
  • Ignore Details Early On
  • It’s a Problem When It’s a Problem
  • Hire the Right Customers
  • Scale Later
  • Make Opinionated Software

Feature Selection

  • Half, Not Half-Assed
  • It Just Doesn’t Matter
  • Start With No
  • Hidden Costs
  • Can You Handle It?
  • Human Solutions
  • Forget Feature Requests
  • Hold the Mayo


  • Race to Running Software
  • Rinse and Repeat
  • From Idea to Implementation
  • Avoid Preferences
  • “Done!”
  • Test in the Wild
  • Shrink Your Time

The Organization

  • Unity
  • Alone Time
  • Meetings Are Toxic
  • Seek and Celebrate Small Victories


  • Hire Less and Hire Later
  • Kick the Tires
  • Actions, Not Words
  • Get Well Rounded Individuals
  • You Can’t Fake Enthusiasm
  • Wordsmiths

Interface Design

  • Interface First
  • Epicenter Design
  • Three State Solution
  • The Blank Slate
  • Get Defensive
  • Context Over Consistency
  • Copywriting is Interface Design
  • One Interface


  • Less Software
  • Optimize for Happiness
  • Code Speaks
  • Manage Debt
  • Open Doors


  • There’s Nothing Functional about a Functional Spec
  • Don’t Do Dead Documents
  • Tell Me a Quick Story
  • Use Real Words
  • Personify Your Product

Pricing and Signup chapter 12

  • Free Samples
  • Easy On, Easy Off
  • Silly Rabbit, Tricks are for Kids
  • A Softer Bullet


  • Hollywood Launch
  • A Powerful Promo Site
  • Ride the Blog Wave
  • Solicit Early
  • Promote Through Education
  • Feature Food
  • Track Your Logs
  • Inline Upsell
  • Name Hook


  • Feel The Pain
  • Zero Training
  • Answer Quick
  • Tough Love
  • In Fine Forum
  • Publicize Your Screwups


  • One Month Tuneup
  • Keep the Posts Coming
  • Better, Not Beta
  • All Bugs Are Not Created Equal
  • Ride Out the Storm
  • Keep Up With the Joneses
  • Beware the Bloat Monster
  • Go With the Flow

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