Cheers Book Club…..Rework

Title : Rework

Author : Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson

Year of Publication : 2010

Genre: Non-fiction, Self-help, Business

Publisher: Currency

Rework is the book I have been looking for the past six months. This is the book for all start-ups.

The authors of the book run an intentionally small – scale, multi-million dollar tech company . Intentionally, being the operative word in the last sentence. This is an interesting business model in this day’s business stratosphere, given that every tech or internet driven company wants to be the next Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat.

In Rework, Fried and  Hansson, gracefully lay down the blueprints to creating, maintaining and growing your company according to the company’s needs.

“Tone is in your fingers. Tools do no matter as much as people think they do. Content is king.”

Lessons from REWORK

“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”

Antoine de Saint-Exupery

The barrier for most business entry is really lower than you think. The cost of starting a business has been significantly lower in recent years. Tools that used to cost thousands are readily available for almost free these days. Similarly, you don’t require an army of staffs to get the job done. One person can handle the responsibilities of a many and in some cases, a whole department or departments. Similarly, cash-flow is much easier today. Keeping your day job and starting your own business on the side is an easy way to maintain cash flow especially since it costs considerably less to run a business these days.

” Embrace constraints. They breed creativity.”

Ignore the real world. Status quo is often the enemy. Most business ideas never come to fruition because someone has said it would not work in the real world. The thing to note  is change is uncomfortable for most people and businesses. The fact that it did not work for them does not mean it would not work for you, plus most people never tried to do things differently from the status quo.

“The real world is not a place, it is an excuse. It is a justification for not trying”

Your estimates suck. Big tasks often take months or years longer than they are billed to take. This means more resources is wasted on then. The solution is to break tasks into smaller bits. For instance,  instead of having a one  “12 weeks project”, you will have  12 “one week projects”. The implication of this adjustment is such that, progress is easier to measure and tasks that are not worth pursuing are halted quicker.

” Plans are often over estimated. There are instances where you just have to get going and make it all up as you go “

Priorities should not be numbered. Instead, visualize your priorities. By doing this, you over come the human tendency to do the easy tasks first. By visualizing your priorities, you tend to tackle the most important ones first then the next most important tasks follow.

“Focus on what would never chance. Do not focus on fashion and ignore substance”

Do not copy your competition. Most of the hard task involved in creating a product is often unseen. By copying the critically stages of  understand is omitted. Going on,  you can not lead a product category if you always wait to copy.

“The time to launch is now. The moment your product begins to deliver it’s most essential purpose, then it is time to launch”

Learn from your success. It is often said that mistakes are  inevitable in business and one should learn from other peoples mistakes. However, the authors argue that this position only tells us what not to do. Success, on the other hand, leaves a blueprint of what to do and if emulated, can be multiplied.

Be a curator. In most cases , perfection is best achieved be removing elements of a product and not pilling on more. The temptation for new companies is to add more features into their products in order to compete favorably with the more established companies in their product category. The authors argue that this could be counter-productive because adding more features often require spending more scarce resources. Simplicity is often preferable in this instance.

“It is better to create a half product than a half-assed product.”

Finally,  find your epicenter. Ignore what you want to do, for what you have to do. Get in the rhythm of making decisions. You can not get all decisions perfectly right anyway. Most problems occur from decisions left unmade.

In conclusion, this book is for everyone. Rework is filled with advice for all kinds of start-ups. Ranging from those that have a business running already, those intending to begin one and those who have never even given entrepreneurship a second thought.



2 thoughts on “Cheers Book Club…..Rework”

  1. Definitely a more concise way to get material from books, we appreciate the effort. A section stood out to me and had me thinking..

    “….. temptation for new companies is to add more……” ” The authors argue….” “… more features often require spending more scarce resources…..”

    Trying to understand from the authors perspective, but, what about the rule that adding more value is better? Just wondering where that sweets pot would be.

    1. Thank you Shard.

      To the best of my understanding, the sweet spot is when adding more features does not mean bankrupting the firm’s capital and human resources.

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