I liked some of the thoughts in Rework. The idea that set company policies equal organizational scar tissue is spot on. Planning = guessing is an original thought. And some of the hiring practices ??? like not hiring "supermen" and working in the position you are filling before you fill it ??? make good sense.
Then again, there are a number of ideas in Rework that are just plain wrong. Smaller isn't always better. Yes, if you make software, small works because once you develop something, the growth comes from incremental sales. And your channel is virtually frictionless. But what if what you sell is time and experience? Then, the fewer bodies you have working, the less money you make. And what if you make pencil erasers? You still need to hire bodies to manufacture, transport and sell your product.
Another idea that's just wrong is the notion that it's better to write a blog and rely on free social media than to use traditional media like PR and advertising. This may be true of some products, and it's especially true of web-based products, but many businesses, like retail, food and manufactured goods, could not function without traditional media. It really depends upon what you are selling.
On top of all this, many of the "observations" that the authors make about business today ??? how meetings are toxic and sampling a product is a good practice, and saying ASAP is meaningless and counterproductive ??? are right out of a Dilbert cartoon. Without he humor. Business people, at least the smart ones, know these things already. There's no insight offered here. Yet the authors treat these subjects like they're the first people to ever think of them.
From the number of times the authors used the words "suck," "sh-t" and "f--k," and the brash, sanctimonious, we're-brilliant-and-your-a-moron tone of the text (and perhaps the narrator shaded that part a bit) the reader is left with a feeling that Fried and Heinemeir are nothing more than a couple of young guys who think they have the business world figured out. But they really don't.
For the record, I use 37Signals products. I think they are brilliant, clean and powerful. But just because a company does a few things right, that does not make them experts on everything.
Listy, redundant and padded with common-sense that is more common than sensible, this book falls flat. Sure, there are some good ideas here, and some solid advice. But the good is overshadowed by the bad editing and lack of any kind of narrative. Mr. Babuta would have done better to cite some other experts on the subject while delivering some real-world examples and success stories. Instead, what we get is a lot of his own opinions base on his own experiences, many of which contradict one another. Perhaps most aggravating of all is the fact that the author spends only a little time supporting the title's premise and then goes off on tangents of dieting advice and decluttering one's desk.
Instead I got a chronicle of smaller, faster, lighter, cheaper things, the vast majority of which I had already known about. A complete waste of my time and money.
There are a number of great anecdotes and interesting stories in this book. On top of that, as an ad person, I found plenty of good advice here. I would have paid hundreds of dollars for these pearls.
I find Mr. Acuff's stories and examples rather compelling. This is all good advice, laid out in an easy-to-digest format. (I also liked the fact that he did not shove his Christianity down the reader's throat like his boss Dave Ramsey does.) I liked it so much I listened to it twice in a row.
King's storytelling is so approachable and infectious that one easily can overlook the minor play kinks. I wish there had a little more spine chilling ghost action, but overall, I really enjoyed this piece.
The first-person perspective of this book is priceless, and the tips for powering through weight loss without losing your mind (like all battles, weight loss is partly mental) are also quite valuable. Thanks for being the human Guinea pig, Drew.
The subject matter, style and no-holds-barred whimsey of this book reminds me so much of Adams, I have a hard time thinking that the two were not drinking buddies or something. Hodgman's performance is stellar.
I had never read Tolkien as a kid. I thought it was time, after being bombarded with Hobbit references, to rectify that fact. The Hobbit is a quick scan and a fun, imaginative story, well told.
Okay, now I'm more paranoid than ever that humanity will be ravaged by a super virus. This book is gripping. Not just because the story is true, but because it is extremely well told.
I loved everything about this book. The characters were interesting and likable/hatable. The story was well told, with plenty of unexpected twists and fresh ideas. I really like the alternative history meets science fiction/fantasy convention. I was sad that it ended, but glad to know there was another book in the series. I will gobble that one up very soon.
I personally pledge allegiance to the Grimnoir.
Also, I want to say something about Bronson Pinchot. The guy is an amazing, amazing narrator. Sure, he was fun to watch on TV and in the movies. But reading books like this one, as well as others (Matterhorn springs to mind) seems, to me at least, to be the ideal expression of his particular performer's genius. He is working his butt off here and as a listener, I can't thank him enough. He can create a dozen characters, male and female, and each one stands on their own sonic merits. I work in the audio medium from time to time and I know how difficult such a thing is to accomplish, and I just have to say, bravo, Mr. Pinchot. You make it look/sound easy.
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