Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Book Review - ReWork

Being an entrepreneur I like to read business books to keep up on trends and to give me ideas on marketing and sales.  I've decided to review the books I've read so you can decide if you want to read them also. 

The first book I'll review is called "REWORK" by Jason Fried and David Heineeier Hansson.  The authors are the founders of a very successful computer software company called 37signals.

I really enjoyed REWORK.  Yes, enjoyed a business book, who knew there was one out there that one could enjoy.  This is not your typical business book. These guys are down to earth, keep it simple, use your common sense kind of guys. The chapters are short, only a few pages long, and they write in language you can understand.  They go against the typical advice that every other business book says, and I love their advice. They take a no-nonsense approach to business that is refreshing.

The line on the inside cover that got me to buy this book was, "... artists who don't want to starve anymore will all find valuable guidance in these pages" and I agree 100%.  I think even people in big corporations should read this book.  There is too much red tape in Corporate America.  I worked in the insurance industry for a good part of my career and there were more meetings than there was work.  There were meeting to plan other meetings, meetings to summarize what happened in previous meetings, and meetings that just didn't seem to accomplish anything.  In this book, the chapter on meetings is titled "Meetings are Toxic". 

I think we all tend to get bogged down in the mire of "the established rules of business". Like having to write a business plan and finding investors and having meetings. Basically they say to stop talking and start working.  This book will make you think  and look at things in a different way. It's not just theory, these guys have built an extremely successful company using the wisdom that they share in the pages of this book.

My favorite line in the book, and also a title of a chapter, is "Build half a product, not a half-assed product". Good advice, maybe another well known software manufacturer should take that advice. There is so much that I like about this book, well actually I like everything about this book, so it's hard not to quote the whole thing while reviewing it. Anyway I don't want to give away anything.  It doesn't matter where you are in your work life, whether you work in the corporate world or have your own business or you are just thinking about starting a business, the advice these guys give will work anywhere.

If you have read this book, please let me know what you think of it.

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