Rework is a book written by the founders of 37Signals, a company that makes online collaboration software like BaseCamp. They also write about running small businesses on their blog Signal vs. Noise. It is readily admitted that this book is a condensed and tightly edited version of topics from their blog. I don’t read their blog regularly, but had heard of it when I came across this book while browsing inside Barnes & Noble.
This is a short book with a casual writing style, complete with about 60 “chapters” that read just like blog posts. Many of the
posts chapters make it a point to contradict common “rules” within the entrepreneurial and/or MBA-driven world. Here are few overall ideas that I noted, which the authors support with their own experiences.
- Don’t learn from your mistakes. Learn from your successes.
- Don’t make your business big. Small is okay.
- Don’t do surveys or market research. Make something you would want to use.
- Don’t wait for perfect to launch. Just make a decision and correct course as needed.
- Don’t make your product do everything, especially if it means you’ll have to do it half-ass. Make it do important things, well.
- Don’t hire based on GPAs or degrees. 90% of Fortune 500 CEOs did not come from an Ivy League for undergrad. The most common undergraduate school among them? University of Wisconsin.
I don’t use any of the 37Signals products, but they have their own niche, and they make what seems like good money at it. I believe their target sweet spot is for people who are self-employed or wish to work in a small but passionate small business that has no intentions of hiring 500+ employees or filing for IPO. This book is not for those with Facebook or Twitter-like aspirations, but if you’re trying for something smaller, I would recommend reading this book.