Review: Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson

Review: Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson

Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson (DHH) are recognized for founding 37signals, which is known for its project management software Basecamp, as well as the development of Ruby on Rails, a popular web application framework. Their no nonsense, streamlined approach to developing and managing a business in a competitive startup culture has made its way into their book Rework, a must read for anyone toying with the thought of becoming an entrepreneur, or as they would term it, a “starter.”

First off this book is an exceptionally easy read. The authors worked diligently to remove as much cruft as possible, even to the point of leaving considerable amounts of white-space on pages. This heavy handed editing approach is consistent with their overall message for the reader to remove as many barriers and obstacles that keep them from execution. It also lines out the way operations in faster driving startups have formed in order to add the most value in the quickest way possible, an important consideration when you’re relying on investor’s money or boot-strapping your enterprise.

There is a lot of great information in this book that can also be applied to non-startup life and in more established environments. Some of this deals with customer relationships and how to maximize their loyalty simply by developing products that they love. There is also great advice related to project completion, productivity, hiring, and leadership.

Personally, I found sound advice on ways I can increase my value. First off, they recommend using a blog to build an audience, which can be helpful establishing your own personal brand and professional identity. They take their own advice by writing the popular Signal v. Noise blog, which I like because its well written and honest. They also second my belief that becoming a great writer is an essential skill in life because it makes you a better thinker and communicator. Both of these are paramount to being effective in the workplace and something you have to work on regularly.

If there is any piece of advice from this book that I’d hope employers would take is to adopt the mindset that people with busy outside lives are more effective at time management. There seems to be a prevailing thought that spending long hours at work is necessary to succeed and only the young can do it, when in fact being more efficient and productive at what you do can be just as valuable despite any age. I have worked with many a people whose output exceeded my own even though they spent less time at the keyboard, simply because they were trying to make their child’s soccer game.

You can find Rework to order by clicking HERE.