I would recommend Rework to anyone starting their own business.
What I think of the book:
If you are running on a business model designed by your grand-father, or as an individual you strongly believe in one way of working and wouldn’t change it for the world, then Jason Fried and David Heinmeier Hansson’s book Rework will definitely be an eye opener.
Rework is a collection of ideas and strategies that worked for 37Signals in developing their business. Their approach is revolutionary. You would often find yourself saying, ‘but this is exactly what I have been avoiding’ and then they crush that thought with a case study. They are inspiring you to think, ‘if these people can do it this way, why can’t I’.
Rework has a handbook-ish feel to it and you’d almost want to refer to it again and again.
The main idea I drew from the book is to break habituation and to customize the way you work. The reason why many businesses fail is because they copy someone else’s style of working. What has worked for one person will not essentially work for another but a customized way of working which is suited for that person shall result in a much greater chance of prosperity. There is a way in which writers get away from using their brains, it is to use clichés and proverbs. Their writing sucks. Similarly, clichéd ways of working sucks too.
Although the book has brilliant ways of reworking, I would not suggest anyone to directly adopt the changes that it mentions, rather to choose the ones that would fit best for you and your work. Because again, what worked for them might not work for you. Also if everyone started reworking then we might need another book called Rerework.
According to me, the book is an attempt to make us stop asking ‘how did they do it’ and to start answering for ourselves ‘how we should do it’. And in that sense, the book is empowering.
Notes from the book:
1. Planning is guessing
Instead of planning where you want to be in next five year, first decide what you’re going to do in the next 5 days, or 5 weeks.
2. Mission statement impossible
It is one thing to have your mission statement written by a copyeditor and completely other to stand by what you believe.
3. Sell your by-product
You can’t just make one thing; everything has a by-product. Spot these by-products and find an opportunity to sell these.
4. Your estimates suck
Do not estimate big things; break them down. You will be less wrong.
5. Underdo your competition
Do less than your competitor; solve the simple problems and leave the nasty, difficult problems to the competition.
6. The best are everywhere
There’s a stigma to hiring someone from far away. Geography doesn’t matter anymore. Hire the best out there.
7. ASAP is poison
ASAP creates unnecessary stress. It is better to reserve your emergency language for real emergencies.
How ColoredCow is reworking:
1. We believe in building relations instead of business connections.
When you’re good at something, you don’t have to go out searching for work. It will travel thought your relations and It will find you.
2. Less is more
We are a small group open to big possibilities.
3. We’re not copying
We’re not trying to be the most unique company, but we’re also not copying. We’re doing what’s necessary to take us where we need to get and we’re doing it in small, firm steps.