A good comment is hard to find
"i'm sorry but i dont think i'll read your book. What one would need are serious statistics on indy businesses (which are terribly hard to provide), not theories, opinions and anecdotes."
Comments like these are like cockroaches (no, seriously, hear me out!)- If you see ONE it probably means there are thousands more lurking silently.
So I wanted to supply reasoning for why the book is not a book of statistic tests.
The funny thing about numbers in business settings is that they don't follow the normal laws of numbers. See, when you read an analysis of a business decision what you are reading LOOKS like hard numbers and statistics, but is actually an interpretation of data: In short- it is the author's opinions, theories, and personal anecdotes cleverly disguised as fact.
Let's take a math example. Let’s say there are three sales for a product with three key features. We all know 1 + 1 + 1 is 3. So we can write that these three features contribute to 33.3% of sales (yes this is a stupid example, just bear with me)- But what if there is a fourth item? What if it is 1 + 0 + 1 + 1? What if it is 2+0+1?
Now statistics is the ART of predicting these kinds of things, and I understand that. If I had a controlled test and a few million dollars in research money I could test each theory stated in the book and determine if the instances and practices are actually true. Unfortunately, that will never come to pass. Even if I had the power to collect all the data from every game released in the last three years it wouldn't provide me the information to accurately predict business decisions.
What that leaves me with are the principals behind consumer behavior, business, and sales along with limited knowledge of sales facts (those "hard" numbers, most of which I am not allowed to state outright).
The point of the book isn't to give you some ultimate formula to make your game, because by the time that went to print the formula would be wrong (unlike math, business formulas never stay the same). It is to provide the background and underlying principals to make smart decisions and to provide the tools and suggestions to follow through on the principal ideas.
In the end it is a book of advice, something people pay millions of dollars for under the umbrella of consulting. To say that the advice is not worthwhile merely because it is not backed by mathematics would be the equivalent of saying you do not believe the person to be competent.
Now- I can't say I am competent... can't say it and have someone believe it at least, but I leave my reputation amongst the community to speak for me. In the end, I believe my book will be invaluable to someone new to independent game development. I further believe the veterans out there will also enjoy reading it to compare their opinions to mine, find new ideas, and maybe pick up a few new tricks.
So to my anonymous poster I say thank you for providing a GOOD comment; even though it was negative! I hope I have swayed your opinion or at least removed some doubt from anyone else out there who had thought the same thing.