Rework – Book Review

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Rework Business BookI had the fortune to read Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson. I first heard of the book by seeing an ad for it in Inc magazine.  In the ad was a recommendation by Seth Godin, whose blog I occasionally read (I don’t read it near enough).  I looked up the book on Amazon to see what the book was about and check out some reviews.  I was intrigued to say the least.

Who wrote Rework?

The authors are from the software company 37signals.  The book is pretty much their business guide to what has worked for them as a company and why it will work for you.

What’s Rework about?

I should go into what the book is.  It’s a business book.  But not one of those overly boring, technical business books that talks terms and concepts that are over your head.  Rework is an easy read that I think anyone who has a business, or is thinking about starting a business, would do well to read.  It’s full of easy-to-understand advice to get you on your way to running a successful business.

Why read Rework?

The advice given in the book makes sense.  Reading the book, I kept thinking to myself how simple the concepts where but also how powerful and “right” they sounded.  If you feel like the way you run your business is bloated and not working, this just might be the read for you.  If you have an idea for a company that you are afraid to start on, this might be a great read for you.  If you are looking for an efficient way to work, then check the book out.

In the book, Jason and David tell you what has worked for their software company.  They also give plenty of examples of other companies that have become successful.  They do this in a way that sets off light-bulb after light-bulb in your head.  I found myself highlighting and making lots of notes.

Here are some of the ideas I’ve highlighted and notes I took:

p.19 “These People scratched their own itch and exposed a huge market of people who needed exactly what they needed.  That’s how you should do it too.” – The point here is that a company can spend too much time worrying about the customer’s needs.  Figure out what YOU need and create that.  If the product is good, other’s will want it as well.  There are examples of people who created something to fits their own needs that later translated to the market in general such as Vic Firth the drum stick maker and Bill Bowerman of Nike.

p.20 “When you want something bad enough, you make the time-regardless of your other obligations.  The truth is most people just don’t want it bad enough.”

p.26 “Great companies start in garages all the time.  Yours can too.”  You don’t need a lot to start a company.  Don’t think you need a big office, lots of money, or huge corporate backing to get going with your ideas.  Start!

p.32 “Whenever you can, swap ‘Let’s think about it’ for Let’s decide on it.’  Commit to making decisions.  Don’t wait for the perfect solution.  Decide and move forward.” … “Decisions are progress.” … “You’re as likely to make a great call today as you are tomorrow.”  I tend to be one who gets stuck in analysis paralysis so the section spoke to me.

p. 36 “Use whatever you’ve got already or can afford cheaply.  Then go.  It’s not the gear that matters.  It’s playing what you’ve got as well as you can.  Your tone is in you fingers.”  Anyone who is a musician understands this.  Yet, I still get stuck sometimes thinking I need something else or something upgraded to get going.

p.37 “When you impose a deadline, you gain clarity. It’s the best way to get to that gut instinct that tells you, ‘We don’t need this.'”

p.41 “If you’re constantly staying late and working weekends, it’s not because there’s too much work to be done.  It’s because you’re not getting enough done at work.  And the reason is interruptions.”  Yup, that’s me.

P.91 “Inspiration is a magical thing, a productivity multiplier, a motivator.  But it won’t wait for you.  Inspiration is a now thing.  If it grabs you, grab it right back and put it to work.”

I have a bunch more notes and things I highlighted but I think you get the point. Either the book seems interesting to you by now or it doesn’t.

I found the book to be really inspiring and it made a lot of sense to me.  If you get a chance, find a copy somewhere and thumb through it.  See if what’s being said can help you.  I think you’ll be pleased reading it.

You can get Rework and check some reviews on Amazon.

Have you read Rework?  What did you think?

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Published or updated February 23, 2011.

Comments

  1. Yep-It grabbed me, even before you got to the page by page review. I appreciated your reference to “simple.” I’m all about clear cut and simple but powerful ideas. I look forward to checking it out. I liked the style of the review.

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