Software Startup Book – Guide for Authors

We are still calling for contributions to an academic book entitled “Fundamentals of Software Startups: Essential Engineering and Business Aspects

A book to be published by Springer and edited by:

  • Assc. Prof. Anh Nguyen-Duc, University of South Eastern Norway.
  • Prof. Jürgen Münch, Reutlingen University
  • Assc. Prof. Rafael Prikladnicki, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul
  • Dr. Xiaofeng Wang, Free University of Bolzano
  • Prof. Pekka Abrahamsson, University of Jyväskylä


Despite a few successful cases, starting up a business is a high-risk activity. Majority of startups fail within the first two years of their creation (Giardino et al. 2015). While many entrepreneurs depend on their intuitions and experience to make decisions during their journeys, empirical research could be a valuable and reliable body of knowledge about known challenges, patterns and best practices that help to reduce risks and wasted efforts. The book firstly presents a consolidated description of important phenomena that commonly occurs among software startups. The described phenomena are inter-disciplinary and associated with the development of both business and products, such as pivoting, development of Minimum viable product, continuous experimentation, and team competence. Secondly, the book presents methodologies adopted by many software startups. The proposed techniques, metrics, frameworks, tools and practices for software startups are presented both with scientific approaches and application context, making them accessible for readers to apply in their own companies. Last but not least, the book covers several cases capturing start-ups’ journey and the challenges and lessons learned with product development in different stages.


  • Abstract submission: 7th March 2019

  • Full Chapters due: 28th February 2019 15th March 2019

  • Notifications of feedbacks: 31st March 2019 15th April 2019

  • Revised version due: 31st May 2019 15th June 2019

TABLE OF CONTENT (Preliminary version). 

The current structure of the book consists of four parts as below:

Part 1 – Fundamental about Software Startups: explores important concepts and phenomenon in early stage software startups, including pivot, minimum viable products, etc

  • Chapter 1: Who are software entrepreneurs? How are they doing?. The chapter presents a result of a multi-vocal tertiary review about demographic information of high-tech entrepreneurs around the world.
  • Chapter 2: Causation, effectuation and entrepreneurial bricolage in practice. The chapter resonates different entrepreneurial logics in software startup context, relating them to product development and management.
  • Chapter 3: Startups should prepare for pivots. The chapter explores the concept of pivots, presents case studies of different pivot types and how entrepreneurs decide to pivot
  • Chapter 4: Balancing competence in early-stage software startups. The chapter addresses the issue of competence needs in early-stage startups, i.e. how do entrepreneurs gather technical competence and how the competence needs are managed over time.
  • Chapter 5: The role of Minimum Viable Products in startup development. The chapter emphasizes the multi-facet of Minimum Viable Products in prototyping, communicating and fund-raising. Different types of Minimum Viable Products and the strategy of building and using them are illustrated in several case studies.

Part 2 – Software Startup Methodology present and validate different software startups’ methodologies, tools, and metrics

  • Chapter 6: Software Development Methodology for Software Start-up. The chapter presents common software product development processes, patterns, and practices in various context.
  • Chapter 7: ESSENCE Startup. The chapter proposes the adoption of ESSENCE to reshape the set of practices and principles used in business and product development for software startups.
  • Chapter 8: Towards the measurement of Innovation in a startup context. The chapter presents innovation as a competitive advantage in a software startup. A framework to identify and to measure innovation for a startup is presented and validated with case studies.
  • Chapter 9: 100+ Metrics for software startups – Common practices of using metrics. The chapter presents the result of a multivocal study that summarizes most common Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for startups. The authors also discuss the usefulness and applications of groups of metrics.
  • Chapter 10: Continuous Experimentation – a practical framework of Build-Measure-Learn. Entrepreneurs often face problems of using Lean Startup Ideology in their specific scenarios. The chapter offers a practical approach to continuously ideate and validate business ideas in software-based startups.
  • Chapter 11: User Experience for Startups – an entrepreneur guide. While good user experience (UX) can be seen to provide competitive advantages for startups, resources for achieving UX may often be lacking. The chapter proposes a guideline on working with Minimum Viable UX in early-stage software startups.
  • Chapter 12: Software-startup education – a transition from theory to practice. The chapter addresses the question that how can we teach entrepreneurs about entrepreneurial theories and knowledge so that it can be directly applied.

Part 3 – Software Startup Failure and Success. report negative and positive results toward successful software startups.

  • Chapter 13: The scientific evidence on failing product-market fit. The chapter presents commonalities of several software startups that fail at achieving a product-customer fit. Lessons learned are discussed and summarized.
  • Chapter 14: The scientific evidence on failing business-model fit. The chapter focuses on challenges when startups move from an early stage to a scaling stage. Issues with scaling product and services, organizational structure, evolving value propositions, etc. are described from known startups
  • Chapter 15: Is technical debt a silent startup killer. Startups often rely on work-around solutions when developing their Minimum Viable Products, in which many of them transform into a final commercial product. The phenomenon of technical debt is revealed in this chapter, including two aspects, the bad side of technical debt, and technical debt management
  • Chapter 16: Balancing agility and quality in early-stage product development. Early stage startups need to be agile, but also transforming toward quality-focus development. This chapter presents the state-of-practice Agile adoption in startups and proposes a solution how can startups balance between agility and quality.

Part 4 – Software Startup Economics

  • Chapter 17: Supporting factors from startup ecosystems. The chapter discusses the role of startup ecosystem elements, i.e. mentors, coworking spaces, incubators, and accelerators. A specific startup ecosystem is analyzed and discussed in this chapter.
  • Chapter 18: Cost structure in startups – computing your real costs. This chapter delineates direct and indirect costs with examples describing how to build indirect costs into the firm’s pricing structure helping to ensure the firm’s success.
  • Chapter 19: Start-up funding models and pitfalls. This chapter presents funding models and pitfalls in software startups



To ensure the quality of the book, we would like to have an interactive collaboration with our invited writers. We expect high-quality contribution, which will pass a peer-review process.

The book chapter should be written in the following format:

  1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: In a few paragraphs, explain the information your chapter will cover. This section should give people a reason to continue reading. Be sure to summarise your main points and key takeaways.
  2. INTRODUCTION: Give a context of the investigated problem. Present the current understanding of the problem. State the purpose of the work in the form of the hypothesis, question, or problem you investigated. Use the active voice as much as possible. Some use of the first person is okay, but do not overdo it
  3. MAIN POINT 1: Cluster the points you want to make. Provide evidence to support your arguments
  4. MAIN POINT 2 …
  5. RELATED WORK: briefly summarise relevant scientific or known publications, i.e. book, scientific papers, white papers, etc.
  6. METHOD: briefly describes how the results were generated
  7. CONCLUSION: Discuss the findings. Provide implications for entrepreneurs, and researchers.
A chapter should also be properly styled and formatted:
  • Submissions must conform to Springer’s LNCS format and should not exceed 15 pages, including all text, figures, references, and appendices. Information about the Springer LNCS format can be found at
  • Figures should be a high-quality image in any common image format.
  • Abbreviations should be defined in parentheses the first time they appear in the abstract, main text, and in figure or table captions and used consistently thereafter.
  • The list of references should be alphabetically by the last name of the first author, and numbered serially. Citations in the text should be identified by appropriate numbers in square brackets, and consecutive references should be concatenated (e.g. [7, 12-15]). The names of all authors should be listed. References by the same author or group of authors should be listed in chronological order.
To facilitate proper peer-reviewing of your manuscript, it is essential that it is submitted in grammatically correct English. If you are not a native English speaker, we recommend that you have your manuscript professionally edited before submission or read by a native English-speaking colleague.


The chapter should be submitted via Easy Chair:


Each manuscript would be gone through a rigorous peer-review process together with ethical policies and standards to ensure the selection of high-quality scientific works. If plagiarism is detected during the peer review process, the manuscript may be rejected. A submitted manuscript will be reviewed by at least three reviewers. We will only accept the work that passes our selection criteria.