If there’s ever going to be anyone changing the way we work and the way we run a business, then I’ll bet my money on the 37signals guys. This is one book I’d suggest everyone to read (unless you’re filthy rich and never have to work). I see Rework as the agile movement for the broader working industry. There are so many practices that are just brain-dead-absolute-must pick ups. The challenge out of this will be on the natural fact that people are uncomfortable with change, even when the change is for the better.
I finished reading Rework several months ago, and as usual, I kept a list of my favourite lines from the book. 37signals (via Jason Fried) kindly gave me permission to share those lines on my blog, so here they are:
Cover - What you need to do is stop talking and start working.
Ignore the real world p14 - The real world isn't a place, it's an excuse. It's a justification for not trying. It has nothing to do with you.
Failure is not a rite of passage p17 - Success is the experience that actually counts.
Work work work work work p25 - They (the workaholics) try to make up for intellectual laziness with brute force. This results in inelegant solutions.
Be a starter p28 - You just need an idea, a touch of confidence, and a push to get started.
Make a dent in the universe p31 - Don't sit around and wait for someone else to make the change you want to see.
Scratch of your own itch p34 - The easiest, most straightforward way to create a great product or service is to make something you want to use.
Start p38 - The most important thing is to begin. p38 - The real question is how well you execute.
Not an excuse! p40 - The truth is most people just don't want it bad enough.
Startup p57 - Actual businesses worry about profit from day one.
You need a commitment strategy not an exit strategy p59 - You should be thinking about how to make your project grow and succeed, not how you're going to jump ship.
Less is a good thing p68 - So before you sing the "not enough" blues, see how far you can get with what you have.
Basics p74 - Nail the basics first and worry about the specifics later. p75 - Details just don't buy you anything in the early stages.
Decisions are progress p77 - Commit to making decisions. Don't wait for the perfect solution. Decide and move forward. p78 - Don't make things worse by overanalysing and delaying before you even get going.
Get it out there p93-94 - So we used the time before launch to solve more urgent problems that actually mattered on day one. Day 30 could wait. p94 - … the best way to get there is through iterations. Stop imagining what's going to work. Find out for real.
Pour yourself into your product p139 - Pour yourself into your product and everything around your product too: how you sell it, how you support it, how you explain it, and how you deliver it. Competitors can never copy the you in your product.
Focus on you instead of they p149 - It's not a win-or-lose battle. Their profits and costs are their. Yours are yours.
Let your customers outgrow you p157 - Scaring away new customers is worse than losing old customers.
Don't out-spend, out-teach p173 - Buying people's attention with a magazine or online banner ad is one thing. Earning their loyalty by teaching them forms a whole different connection. They'll trust you more. They'll respect you more.
Fake fake fake p183 - It's OK if it's not perfect. You might not seem as professional, but you will seem a lot more genuine.
Everything is marketing p193 - Accounting is a department. Marketing isn't. Marketing is something everyone in your company is doing 24/7/365.
Pass on great people p206 - Great has nothing to do with it. If you don't need someone, you don't need someone.
What does 5 years experience mean anyway? p213 - How long someone's been doing it is overrated. What matters is how well they've been doing it.
Hire managers of 1 p220 - Managers of one are people who come up with their own goals and execute them. … How can you spot these people? … They've run something on their own or launched some kind of project.
Hire the better writer p222 - Writing is today's currency for good ideas.
Everyone on the front lines p242 - It's feeling the hurt that really motivates people to fix the problem. And the flip side is true too: The joy of happy customers or ones who have had a problem solved can also be wildly motivating.
Culture is the by-product of consistent behaviour p249 - You can't install a culture. Like a fine scotch, you've got to give it time to develop.
Decisions are temporary p251 - Optimize for now and worry about the future later.
Build a rockstar environment p253 - Cut the crap and you'll find that people are waiting to do great work.
Send people home at five p 258 - You want busy people. People who have a life outside of work. People who care about more than one thing. You shouldn't expect the job to be someone's entire life - at least not if you want to keep them around for a long time.
Inspiration expires now p271 - Inspiration is a magical thing, a productivity multiplier, a motivator. But it won't wait for you.
As I read through the book, I couldn’t stop relating each chapter with my own experience working in the industry for the past 9 years. And here’s hoping the next 9 years will be more rework-able.