Throw everything you know about business planning out the window.
Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson offer a simpler approach: Ignore traditional business conventionalism and create the type of business you want. Period.
Rework is a collection of advice from the blog “Signal vs. Noise” by the authors’ company “37signals”. In it, the authors trash almost every common corporate practice such as meetings, business plans, projections, marketing, hiring practices, etc. to the credit of their own success. Although 37signals is a small, Internet based company, their products are widely used and the blog has thousands of readers.
If nothing else, you should read this book just for the pure shock value. I think every working drone out there can identify with the way that Fried and Hansson call “stupidity” on the traditional business environment. You’ll also appreciate the tone of the writing. No boring, bland college professor talk here. The text is like having a 20 or 30-year-old hipster giving you business advice; one that actually created a successful company and actually deserves your attention.
If you have any entrepreneurial aspirations whatsoever, you’ll also find this book very motivating. The authors are very persuasive that in order to be successful you have to stop talking about it and just do it. This would be great inspiration for anyone on the fence that is considering starting a small Internet business, product, blog, etc.
On top of that, Rework is about the easiest read you could ask for: +270 pages of fast-paced, 12-point font and tons of graphics. I believe it took me about 2 hours to read the whole thing.
And on that note, comes my criticism of this text. The book probably only really has about 100 pages of actual content. Unfortunately, despite the persuasive nature of the ideas, their alternative methods offer little substance for actual implementation. Basically, I’m not sure how their advice would work for anything other than an Internet-based software company.
Overall, given the success of 37signals, the short time investment, and pure fun of the read, I would suggest checking it out.
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