Writing A Book Is Like Building A Lean Startup – eewei.com

Writing A Book Is Like Building A Lean Startup

My Book solves problems tech teams face all the time

“Desire is the starting point of all achievement, not a hope, not a wish, but a keen pulsating desire which transcends everything.”

– Napoleon Hill, American writer

Do what you’re good at

I am good at uncovering and solving problems. I do this with everyone: my wife, son and daughter, developers and designers, leaders in all industries. There’s always something, somewhere that can be done a better.


I’ve always wanted to be published so put some of these problem solving ideas togther and illustrated (Thank you Robert Andre!) them. Jonathan Rasmussen (Author of “The Agile Samurai“) recommended I approach Pragmatic Publishers with an outline of the book. I got an email back from Susannah Pfalzer and Andy Hunt a few weeks later expressing Pragmatic’s interest. I was over the moon.

Get Real

My simple plan was to write 101 problem solving “Ingredients” consisting of a short paragraph of text and one illustration. Pragmatic soon informed me they needed more text and more practical advice for each ingredient. My workload increased 3 fold and this, before I realized I had to ‘code’ the book too.


I have to code the book? Really?Pragmatic makes it super easy to publish content out to multiple digital formats including ebooks and pdfs. BUT this means writers need to download a version control tool and use a basic markup language called PML to code and publish their book. I commit changes to my book on average 15 times a day in order to view published changes as a PDF . How’s that for iterative and continuous improvement?


I made assumptions about the tone of voice, level of detail, amount of reference material and the importance of problems being tackled. I had many feedback and review sessions, where my book was put in front of target customers, peers, editors and publishing experts, to validate assumptions early and often.


I learned to fail fast and often to learn and improve what I was writing. Even now as people pay for and download the Beta eBook, I am expecting to hear constructive feedback I can use to make final updates. Each round of feedback is assessed and poignent points, prioritized and actioned upon. I am forever grateful to all who gave me unique insight and feedback including Paul HammondJonathan RasmussonDave Gray (Co-Author of “Gamestorming“), Giles Colborne (Author of “Simple and Usable“), Nicholas Muldoon, Paul Golding (Author of “Connected Services“)Jez Humble (Co-Author of “Continous Delivery“), Martin Belam, Cennydd Bowles (Co-Author of “Undercover User Experience design“), Chloe Barker, Marc McNeil (Co-Author of “Agile Experience Design“) and Fatima Chen to name a few 🙂 A big thank you to Jackie Carter, my editor who acted as a prompt and catalyst when I needed it most to get the book finished!

Want a read?

101 Design Recipes To Solve Big Tech Problems  is available to buy as a Beta eBook now. If you buy the combo pack (Beta eBook + Paper Book) you’ll get the Beta eBook immediately, with successive updates included, and get the paper book when it’s released on 31st July 2013.


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