From the founders of the trailblazing software company 37signals, here is a different kind of business book one that explores a new reality. Today, anyone can be in business. Tools that used to be out of reach are now easily accessible. Technology that cost thousands is now just a few bucks or even free. Stuff that was impossible just a few years ago is now simple.That means anyone can start a business. And you can do it without working miserable 80-hour weeks or depleting your life savings. You can start it on the side while your day job provides all the cash flow you need. Forget about business plans, meetings, office space - you don't need them.
With its straightforward language and easy-is-better approach, Rework is the perfect playbook for anyone who's ever dreamed of doing it on their own. Hardcore entrepreneurs, small-business owners, people stuck in day jobs who want to get out, and artists who don't want to starve anymore will all find valuable inspiration and guidance in these pages. It's time to rework work.
©2010 Jason Fried (P)2010 Random House
I love 37signals and a lot of what they stand for. This book is consistent with their brand and positioning... and I appreciate that. It's a motivational huzzah for being reasonable in how you work. It's confirmation that you CAN just make a great product and do good business and be profitable. It speaks plainly and cuts through a lot of the crap in our start up environment today.
It's absolutely worth a listen, but you might not come out on the other end having experienced some sort of cathartic epiphany about work either.
After listening to so many good business and marketing books, this book was difficult for me to enjoy. The authors basically spit out old business one-liners and proverbs, and linked them together in a book. The tone of the book (partly the narrator?) seems arrogant and off-putting.
The "good advice" was already obvious. For example, "business meetings cost the salary of everyone in attendance." Yes, yes, I know ... this is in EVERY business book on audible. "Don't work hard, work smart!" Why didn't I think of that!?
I was hoping for something more original. It feels like a self-promotional book for their main business.
I'm a huge fan of 37 Signals. Rework is ok, but I prefer to listen to their pod casts. The book delves a bit more in depth than the free audio clips available, but I prefer the casual tone of the podcasts.
This book is awesome. From start to finish there is no time wasted. It is pure of just what is relevant and important. Highly recommended for those with a business in 2010.
At first look ReWork may appear to be too simple. Don't be fooled, as the book goes on you start to realize a series of things you should (or shouldn't) be doing right now.
Highly recommended for anyone that is starting his own business and for those who are already consolidated it. Trust me... it's a wonderful time.
mostly nonfiction listener
The first book that I'm going to give to my learning and technology team is Rework, by the guys from 37Signals.
288 concise pages - or less than 3 hours in unabridged audio format. We need more books to be this good and this short.
37Signals is best known for its simple, cloud based project management tool Basecamp.
I'm a Basecamp client, and have been using the tool productively for a few years now. If you have ever had to do a project with MS Project, or solely by e-mail and spreadsheets, than you will appreciate the simplicity, elegance, and flexibility of Basecamp.
The founders of 37Signals developed Basecamp to manage their own internal projects, only then realizing they had a service on their hands that other small teams would find useful. Basecamp requires no support from your central IT organization, no local hardware, and no expertise in project management. You can be up and running with a free 30 day trial in 60 seconds. Plans start at $24 a month.
Basecamp is not just a product but also a philosophy. Less features well done are better than many features that complicate a product. Offer services that are lightweight and agile, and resist the urge to meet the needs of every customer. Let your customer outgrow your product. Basecamp is the physical (or digital?) manifestation of the philosophy of work that 37Signals is selling in Rework. The company prides itself on keeping operations lean, costs down, working arrangements flexible, and paid marketing to a minimum. If you work for 37Signals you don't attend many meetings, don't write many strategic plans, and don't give many internal presentations. You are expected and encouraged to carve out quiet time for productive work, to share your work product early and often, and to be open to criticism.
What you are not expected to do is work insane hours, sacrifice family or sleep time, or set unrealistic deadlines or goals.
It could be that 37Signals got lucky with Basecamp, and are falling into the fallacy of assuming that their work culture is an optimal culture because it produced Basecamp. The other products from 37Signals, Highrise (contact tracking), Backpack (Intranet), and Campfire (code sharing) have not enjoyed nearly the same level of success as Basecamp.
We know from Leonard Mlodinow's book, The Drunkard's Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives, that we all under-estimate the role of chance in our successes and failures. Nor is the advice in Rework particularly original. Experts like James O'Toole have long been recommending more flexible and less hierarchal workplaces.
What is different about Rework is that the founders of 37Signals are pitching their ideas at a level that can work with small teams on the sorts of projects and tasks that we all do. Anyone in charge of rolling out and supporting new learning technology services will benefit from reading Rework. You don't need a top-down re-org or permission from your leadership to make our products and team interactions more like those of 37Signals. We are all in some measure complacent in meeting cultures , reliances on committees, and the putting off of "shipping" new services until that mythical time the platform meets everyone's needs.
Rework should provoke a good discussion of how your team does things differently from how the team at 37Signals approaches tasks. In the end you may not decide to adopt all of the recommendations in Rework, but I guarantee that this book cause you to take a hard look at how your group operates.
Any Basecamp users want to jump in on the service? What do you think about the idea of writing a short book like Rework that spells out your work culture philosophy and the thinking behind the services you offer?
Excellent, practical advice on doing more and taking control. Can't recommend it enough to anyone who thought "I could do it better."
I have listen to the book about 3 or 4 times just in the first week of owning it.
Great guide for starting a business in today's world.
"Think for yourself"
This book does have some good things to say about starting with a new business but (and this is just my opinion) it strikes me like a lot of books of this type as lacking a bit in substance and also as prescribing set approaches to situations, when in fact the best thing to do is to weigh each up as you see them.
For example, in this book they say start small and build from a small base, don't give up the day job straight away and generally take it steady in the beginning. This may be the best strategy in some situations, but not necessarily in all situations.
There are a bunch of other books out there which tell you to always try to think big, and take risks, make the leap etc... which may be the right thing to do in your situation, or it may not. What I'm trying to say is that though the book IS useful and good food for thought, it basically represents one company's way of doing things, not a universal panacea. The real skill is to adapt your strategy to the circumstance.
There's also the business of backing both sides in a couple of cases. For example, they suggest enforce a strict 'no-distractions' atmosphere at work and then later on say that in fact banning people from using facebook at work is bad because people actually need distractions.
Also didn't like the swearing towards the end, but that's just a personal thing. As I say it's got some interesting stuff but nothing groundbreaking or particularly inspirational. Think and Grow Rich or the 48 Laws of Power it ain't...
"Reworked - good book but somethings"
This was a great audiobook that definatley challenges the normal mindset of most entrpreneurs.
I would say the tendandcy to go against anything 'normal' was slightly over-exagerated (although i guess that was the point) as not all businesses can run like 37signals do, especially larger companies that require more rigidity to operate.
Having said that, as a small company owner almost everything in this book made total sense and Im happy to say a lot of it we already practice in our business. Keep up the good work guys, we love your products and use them daily.
Beautifully narrated by Mike. I find him a pleasure to listen to.
The book was less a story of successful business implementing innovative techniques as I had hoped to read about. Instead almost a list of things to do in the opinion of one person.
I however found many of the suggestions very encouraging and will be sure to consider their implementation in my work.
"Superb. packed with amazing observations."
short and to the point book, full of great insight on planning, building a nd running a business.
great book for making sure you spend your time and energy on what counts. will make you and your business very efficient
"The no BS guide to overhaul your approach to work"
I reckon I will be revisiting this book many times into the future.
The book is full of gems and practical, no-nonsense ideas to use in reworking your approach to work, your customers, your employees and your overall productivity.
Well thought out and written.
Good narration. I enjoyed Mike's voice. He does a great job of bringing Rework to life.
"Old News, and quite a skewed Point of View"
Not really. It already feels out of date and its only a few years old. Much of what is in here is very specific to their world at that particular time. This is absolutely fine, but truth for them does not translate definitively to everyone else. Its a shame they imply that it does.
I've not listened before, but I have read Remote. That suffers from similar issues as ReWork in my opinion.
Yes, that was fine
It could certainly do with a serious revision, but even though that would address some of the more outdated assertions, it won't fix the tone of the book, ie that this is what *they* experienced so it should apply to everyone else.
"Very inspirational and consistent,"
Distillate to the esence of simplicity and efficiency. Make sure you grab a pen and take notes. it goes very fast.
"What everybody is thinking but nobody has the guts to say!"
This book really is a 'must read'. You will learn the reality behind business plans and why they are a waste of time; how to give great customer service; how to grow your company organically and successfully without having to have some super complicated product or service. Excellent! Thanks go to Russell Brunson for recommending this book to me!
"Rework your assumtions"
Rework is an excellent book. They have in this one book, changed perceptions of what it is to operate successfully. They have made it okay to ask the questions which people have been scared to ask do you to conventional business thinking. Best of all this is not in theory they have the evidence in culture cash flow and product to back it up. Top marks
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