Rework – by Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson

Rework - Fried & Heinemeier
by Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson

Rework is one of my favorite books for any entrepreneur who likes to think outside the box. And really if you are an entrepreneur and you are unwilling to push the envelope or reinvent the way you do business, how do you ever expect to survive in today’s economy??

This is the book that makes the majority of business advice books seem dated, old-fashioned, and simply archaic in the way we go about running  a business. Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson are co-founders of 37 signals the company that brought you Basecamp, Highrise, and several other high value online productivity tools. They have written this book to break down many of the artificial barriers we all see in business and to also let us in on how they became so successful taking an idea or a “manifesto” and turning that into a viable business model and marketable product. They write the book from real-world experience, not an academic viewpoint which helps keep it down to earth and applicable to anyone’s situation.

For some business owners this book might seem really “out there.” Some of their suggestions or thoughts would be an extreme shift from what business owners are used to but as I mentioned its good to think outside your regular constraints. Plus, business is changing, how we work together is changing, and the sooner people accept and embrace this the better off they will be.

The book is literally comprised of 1-2 page chapters the entire way through, each carrying an extremely succinct point or story that you can utilize on your own. The biggest concepts that are carried throughout the book are the messages of “taking action” and “working smarter, not harder.” Nothing happens from excessive planning or discussion if there is never any action that follows. Rework helps shed light on these very issues.

I think the book is fun, entertaining, uplifting, witty, provocative, and even uncomfortable at times because it forces me to really think about what I’m doing, how I’m doing it, and why that needs to change. I’ve heard other people describe the mindset as “Unconventional Wisdom” and I would have to agree with that! I find this book to be an absolute home-run for me cover to cover and definitely makes my Top 5 books for Entrepreneurs.

Here is a snippet from the book to give you an idea of some of the thought provoking concepts they cover:

“That would never work in the real world.” You hear it all the time when you tell people about a fresh idea…

… Don’t believe them. That world may be real for them, but it doesnt mean you have to live in it. We know because our company fails the real-world test in all kinds of ways. In the real world, youcan’t have more than a dozen employees spread  out in eight different cities on two continents. In the real world you can’t attract millions of customers without any salespeople or advertising. In the real world, you can’t reveal your formula for success to the rest of the world. But we’ve done all those things and prospered.


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