The authors of Rework, a book of blog posts on business from the popular 37Signals blog and company, do a good job of provoking thought by taking something you think is true and standing it on its head so you can consider it from another angle. These contrarian maxims, like “Underdo the competition” or “Pick a fight” or “Emulate drug dealers” are catchy and don’t require long explanations, which makes for very short essays and a super quick read. Also half the book is graphics, which I’m not knocking, just mentioning because it’s the sort of book you can read in 1 minute increments. It’s a good kitchen book to read in snippets while you’re doing other tasks.
The reviews for Rework are utterly hyperbolic. “Ignore at your own peril!” says one. “I’d rather hire someone who has read Rework than someone who went to Harvard Business School!” says another. One guy said it moved him to tears. Um, OK. Apparently some people love this book to bits and pieces so it might prove very helpful to some. I wouldn’t put it in the top 10 business books I’ve ever read, but I did make note of six things, which I will share with you here.
- “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.”
- “When you don’t have to mind-shift between various tasks, you get a boatload done.”
- “To keep your momentum and motivation up, get in the habit of accomplishing small victories along the way.”
- “Some people still develop a masochistic sense of honor about sleep deprivation. They even brag about how tired they are. Don’t be impressed. It will come back to bite them.”
- “Instead of trying to outspend, outsell, or outsponsor competitors, try to out-teach them.”
- “Don’t make up problems you don’t have yet. It’s not a problem until it’s a real problem. Most of the things you worry about never happen anyway.”
While I don’t think Rework is a must read, and given the chance I’d recommend Harvard Business School over reading this book, I did find some good and helpful thoughts in it, and if you’re interested in business or entrepreneurship you might find it interesting.
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