Book Review: Rework

Many business books claim to have the secret new formula for running a successful company. Most end up regurgitating the same advice we’ve read for years. Written either by a “business guru” that’s never run a business or by an ancient CEO that sounds so drab you wonder who actually wrote the book. Rework is different. It is co-authored by two fresh entrepreneurs that have been running a successful company for over ten years, remaining profitable through “two recessions, one burst bubble”, and more. Full of great advice for managing teams and yourself, and seeing products (and projects) through from start to finish.

About the Authors

Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson are the founders of 37signals – a software company that creates products to help people manage their work lives. Originally a web design shop, 37signals couldn’t find project management software that met their needs, so they built it. Now they’re a small company (by choice) that generates millions of dollars in revenue per year.

General Idea

It’s best to think of Rework as a manual or a set of tips for running a business. Various aspects of a business make up the different chapters – progress, competitors, promotion, hiring, culture, etc. Within each of these chapters are several lessons pulled from the authors’ first hand experiences. Some of these lessons back up traditional advice, while others throw tradition out the window. Together they create a great manual for starting and running a creative company.

Key Highlight

Decisions are Progress – “Whenever you can, swap “Let’s think about it” for “Let’s decide on it.” Commit to making decisions. Don’t wait for the perfect solution. Decide and move forward” (p. 77)

Sell Your By-Products – “When you make something, you always make something else. You can’t make just one thing. Everything has a by-product. Observant and creative business minds spot these by-products and see opportunities.” (p. 90)

Out-Teach Your Competition – “Instead of trying to outspend, outsell, or outsponsor competitors, try to out-teach them.” “Teach and you’ll form a bond you just don’t get from traditional marketing tactics.” (p. 173)

The Myth of the Overnight Sensation – “You will not be a big hit right away. You will not get rich quick. You are not so special that everyone will instantly pay attention.” “Trade the dream of overnight success for slow measured growth. It’s hard, but you have to be patient.” (p. 196)

Hire Great Writers – “If you are trying to decide among a few people to fill a position, hire the best writer. It doesn’t matter if the person is a marketer, salesperson, designer, programmer, or whatever; their writing skills will pay off.” (p. 222)

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1 Comment

  1. Good review.
    It souds like an interesting book; and not only for those who has their own business, but also for people who work for someone else. As they say, even if your work for someone else, act as an owner, and one day you will become one (at least your work will become much more interesting).


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