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A book by David Heinemeier Hansson and Jason Fried

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A compendium of ideas, suggestions, do's & don'ts, warnings, tips, solutions and experiences.

  • May 26, 2010
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From the opening pages of "Rework' it becomes quite apparent that Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson are not your typical enterpreneurs.  As founders of the trailblazing software company "37signals" Fried and Hansson turn conventional business wisdom on its head by pursuing rather unorthodox strategies and techniques.  They have little use for planning and detest meetings. They view the world of business through an entirely different paradigm than most.  Theirs is more a "fly by the seat of your pants" approach.  And as you will discover in "Rework'  many of the ideas they espouse really do work.  So put all of your preconceptions aside and read "Rework" with an open mind.  It just might convince you to change the way you do things at the company you own or the business you work at.  For some, reading "Rework" just might provide the impetus you need to start a business of your own.

As Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson point out "37signals" began life as a tiny Web-design consulting firm in 1999.  After several years in business they were extremely unhappy with the quality of the project-management software on the market at that time.  And so they decided to design a software package themselves based on their own needs and experiences.  They sought to keep it as simple and easy to use as possible.  Damn the bells and whistles. When they completed the project they realized that they had actually created a marketable product that would be very attractive to other small businesses.  So they did a 180 and changed the primary focus of their business and began to market "Basecamp" to others.  These days Basecamp is is highly successful product that generates millions of dollars of profits annually for the company.  It pays to be flexible!  When opportunity knocks be prepared to jump on it.  Fried and Hansson argue that a company with a more traditional business plan would probably never have pursued this idea.    

Fried and Hansson offer so many sensible and innovative suggestions in "Rework" that I hardly know where to begin.   They abhor workaholics and posit the notion that "planning is guessing".  They resist the urge to be "all things to all people".   If customers outgrow their products that's fine because there are always new start up companies who will find the basic products they create extremely attractive.  They encourage companies to look for "managers of one"  that is employees who "come up with their own goals and execute them."   These people "set the tone, assign items, determine what needs to be done, etc.-- but they do it by themselves and for themselves."  Little or no oversight necessary!  

As you thumb through the pages of "Rework" you will find that some of the observations and suggestions made by the authors do not apply to your particular situation. But then you will come across some others that will prove to be something akin to a great epiphany when you suddenly realize that this solution has been right under your nose and is a perfect fit for your company or business.  When it comes right down to it Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson are encouraging all of us to essentially "transform the workplace" into something far more productive.  I found "Rework" to be a very readable, highly informative and surprisingly entertaining book.   Highly recommended! 
A compendium of ideas, suggestions, do's & don'ts, warnings, tips and personal experiences. A compendium of ideas, suggestions, do's & don'ts, warnings, tips and personal experiences. A compendium of ideas, suggestions, do's & don'ts, warnings, tips and personal experiences. A compendium of ideas, suggestions, do's & don'ts, warnings, tips and personal experiences.

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June 01, 2010
Glad to see that you enjoyed the book. It should be required reading for people in all levels of an organization. But the most benefit would probably come from the "rank and file." Excellent review!
June 01, 2010
"They have little use for planning and detest meetings. They view the world of business through an entirely different paradigm than most.  Theirs is more a "fly by the seat of your pants" approach."

Sounds like a fascinating, eye opening and inspirational book!  I've been meaning to pick it up ever since I read @GEldred's review of it.  You should also check out @andrewjt's review of Getting Real, which is written by the same guys and there's a link to read it online for free.  Thanks for sharing!
More Rework reviews
review by . November 03, 2010
Counter-intuitivism has never been this appealing or enlightening. Following uncommon, adverse advice and tips normally would seem as crazy talk, but in Rework, the approach and delivered goods are well worth the look on the naysayers' faces when you're successful from heeding said advice.      From burgeoning entrepreneurs to weathered corporate managers alike, this book works for either as a new approach to obtaining the same goal: success, and its myriad of definitions …
review by . May 05, 2010
Prior to reading Rework, I was unfamiliar with Jason Fried, David Heinemeier Hansson, or their company 37signals. One book, however, provides the reader with the insight into the attitudes of the founders and a basis for the reasons for their success. However, if you subscribe to "conventional wisdom," this book may not be for you. The authors tend go against your experience and what has been instilled into you during your college and graduate work. Nonetheless, this is a worthwhile book, …
review by . January 10, 2011
Business and branding books glut the market. In fact, I have dozens. But the only one that I consider my "biz Bible"? Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, the brilliant founders of 37signals (Basecamp, Highrise, etc.)    I read Rework early last year and benefited enormously. Under pressure by co-workers and colleagues to "tone it down" (paraphrase), my intensity and originality were stifled, and the gradual sacrifice to "fit in" within a small niche culture eroded …
review by . June 02, 2010
These are the two chaps of 37 signals who started Basecamp and a host of other tools. They were also early advocates of Ruby on Rails. A breathless book that runs through the gamut of pragmatic business advice. You will find your self agreeing with them much more than disagreeing. Their comments on software design ( It should be simple, practical, easy to use but often is not) resonated today as I was running through Microsoft Office 2010. sigh, I can see why Open Office is attractive - Microsoft …
review by . April 11, 2010
After the buzz I've seen generated by this book, I needed to read it to find out what it was all about... Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson. They are the guys who started the web company 37signals, a company that has found a sizable niche with software products that are simple and basic. There are enough features to get the job done, and no more. In Rework, they share their philosophy on how a company should be started and run, based on how they've run their own company. While I …
review by . April 10, 2010
I'd expected a book of substance, and instead I got a book of aphorisms.    As the founder of a startup, I was hoping to get some insights into how 37signals has achieved so much success. I'd hoped for stories and details. Rework consists entirely of grandiose statements ("Don't be a hero," "Ignore the real world," "No time is no excuse") followed by a couple of pages of explanation in large type. In other words, the purpose of the book is to inspire, not to inform.    That's …
review by . March 24, 2010
If Joseph Schumpeter were to design a "creative destroyer," he would probably come up with a business thinker who bears a striking resemblance to Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson. To me, they seem to be iconoclasts who are impatient to build rather than anarchists whose objective is chaos. They quickly indicate a healthy respect for the nature and extent of difficulty when challenging the status quo. But they are not deterred by that difficulty, as their success with 37signals clearly indicates, …
About the reviewer
Paul Tognetti ()
Ranked #2
I guess I would qualify as a frustrated writer. My work requires very little writing and so since 1999 I have been writing reviews on non-fiction books and anthology CD's on amazon.com. I never could … more
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About this book



ISBN-10: 0307463745
ISBN-13: 978-0307463746
Author: Jason Fried, David Heinemeier Hansson
Genre: Business & Investing, Health, Mind & Body
Publisher: Crown Business
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