Rework is the newest book from Jason Fried and David Heinemeier, founders of 37signals. They share their thoughts on their experiences. They avoid business-speak, buzz words and platitudes in favor of a very conversational tone. What did I think?
Rework Makes Some Fantastic Points
The authors’ perspective is refreshing. There are no apologies and their opinions are presented on a “take it or leave it” basis. Each chapter contains several brief sections and each section very succinctly deals with an issue that virtually everyone can relate to somehow. Here are a few points that resonated with me:
- Build on successes – Instead of analyzing failures to find what not to do, look at successes to know what TO DO more of in the future.
- Work smarter, not harder – They believe that workaholics are not heroes, you need to sleep when you’re tired and that people should go home at 5. It’s not about the hours your butt is in the chair but what you get done. Find ways to work smarter (or maybe there are things you should stop doing all together).
- Culture is action, not words – Company culture isn’t established by edict or during a company off-site, it’s developed by the consistent behaviors of employees. Make sure you emphasize/reward the right behaviors to establish the right culture.
- Act today – Decision aren’t permanent. You can change down the road if necessary. Acting now allows you to start making progress and learn faster. Avoid analysis paralysis.
- Learn to say no – Saying no is hard and unnatural, but vital to your success. You may even have to tell customers that, no, you won’t be adding that feature or, no, you aren’t going to lower the price.
What You Might Not Like
The book comes across as a bit of an ego trip. At some point in the book you will find yourself thinking “That may have worked for them, but that would never fly at my company.” Don’t brush off those topics. Write them down and really look at why you think that wouldn’t work. These are the areas where you might have a huge opportunity to grow. Or it really might not work for you. That’s okay too.
I recommend the book highly. It will get you thinking and give you a fresh perspective. If you’ve already read it, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.