Jason Fried — Rework Book Review
Rework by Jason Fried is a book that shows you that you need less than you think to start a business by explaining why plans are actually harmful, how productivity isn’t a result from working long hours and why hiring and seeking investors should be your absolute last resort.
Easily digestible, motivating, inspiring. Rework is a different type of business book.
WarningIt’s different from all the other books out there about starting and running a business. Rework shows you a better, easier way to succeed in your market by explaining in plain English, what you should do, and naturally what you should avoid doing.
Rework is not a typical book with boring and trivial advice.
The large audience of readers, who have read the book, admits that Rework shows you the things you really need to get success in business. Jason Fried does not describe long strategies and ways to achieve results.
Rework is a straightforward, easy-is-better approach to success in business.
Jason Fried is the co-founder of 37 Signals, a massively successful online software company that produces products used by millions of people around the world.
It’s not a book where some old business veterans share fancy stories, add cheesy headlines, and repeat “you can do it”.
ImportantJason Fried advises us to stay small and focus on the essential things in your company. The main idea of the book is to stop talking and start working.
Primarily, it’s a book about ignoring what everyone else is telling you about running a successful company and focusing on the things that matter for your specific niche. Read on!
Do More With Less
Some will say that you can’t compete with the big boys who are already operating in the niche you’re about to enter without big advertisement budget, or by building a product that does fewer things than your competition.
If you’re a one-man army you probably don’t need 100,000 customers.
You will want to expand, but at a certain point where it will be comfortable and still fun — like when you got your first order. In reality, you need only 1,000 true fans.
Learn to be a curator and stick to what is truly essential, it is the stuff you leave out that truly matters.
WarningIf you have a big problem, do not try and make the whole problem better. Reduce the problem completely to the core of the problem, and polish/work on it.
Less things, staff, offices, even clients, means less emails, meetings, pointless conversations, calls, orders. But more importantly, more time for creating, more time for enjoying what you’ve started.
Embrace the idea of having less mass. Less is a good thing.
ImportantConstraints are advantages in disguise. Limited resources force you to make do with what you’ve got. There’s no room for waste and that forces you to be creative.
The overall idea is to work with what you have now, start small, launch early, and sort things out as you go.
Many companies are starting in a garage. They have small resources at the first stage, even no time management tools for work.
Stop Talking Start Doing
When starting up your business, focus on building the core of your business. Without it, your business cannot function. Once your kernel is ready, immediately launch the product. Do not wait until you polish it.
Whatever your product or service, you can clarify the details later.
When 37signals released their Basecamp product, they couldn’t even bill customers. But they had 4 weeks to eliminate the flaw. Just launch the product and everything will go as it should.
The most important step is to start and then to learn how to manage time and stress.
WarningWhenever 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.
Everyone around us is constantly striving for perfection. However, when something is too polished, it loses its identity. It sounds fake. And people can spot fake from a mile away.
Launch now. Stop imagining what’s going to work. Find out for real.
ImportantDetails are important but they can wait an iteration or two. Get real market feedback first. And then you start learning and improving your product by having this feedback in an iterative process.
Suddenly you realize that there are many features you just don’t need.
Put out everything you don’t need for the launch. The rest might be just luxury features. Feedback Loop will give you everything you need to know in order to continue with the next steps.
If you’re going to start a business, please, please, please, do it right. Why not build something you really want to see in the world? Something you can be incredibly proud of, something you want to take a stand for — a thing worth fighting for.
Gear doesn’t matter, your vision does.
ImportantPeople who are successful nowadays, have succeeded because of these two things: First, they have been around the block for several years constantly working which allows them to get better. Secondly, they have their own vision, which is definitely different from yours.
To do great work, you need to feel that you’re making a difference.
The easiest, most straightforward way to create a great product or service is to make something you want to use. That lets you design what you know — and you’ll figure out immediately whether or not what you’re making is any good.
Some people start their business for the sole purpose of making money. In fact, this is absurd, because a successful business cannot be built only on the desire to earn more. The affair must be based on passion. Designing a stand with information about your uniqueness and your principles is a great way to attract customers.
Look for the epicenter and concentrate all the power to make it perfect.
ImportantThe rest of your product will depend on the foundation. There is the stuff you could do, the stuff you want to do, and the stuff you have to do. The stuff you have to do is where you should begin.
Some companies tend to write down their mission in order to communicate it to the employees.
WarningReality looks different: Words on a paper are clearly disconnected from the reality. Don’t write it down, believe it and live it. It’s in your hands!
Pick a Battle
You can turn a bunch of great ideas into a crappy product real fast by trying to do them all at once. You just can’t do everything you want to do and do it well. You have limited time, resources, ability, and focus.
Build half a product, not a half-assed product.
It is better to have a high-quality part of a product, but not a senseless whole thing. Many things become better when they are cut. Directors cut scenes to make a great movie. Musicians do not include great tracks into albums.
When you feel overwhelmed, focus on what won’t change.
WarningMany organizations focus on the next big thing, the latest trends and technologies and just forget about the core. The core might be the most important argument why customers are using the product.
Workaholics create more problems than they solve. They make up for a lack of intelligence through force. They do it to feel good, not to solve problems. If you always work hard you don’t know what are considered to be real problems. Work hard when required, not all the time — you will burn out.
Whatever you decide to do, ask yourself if its adding value.
ImportantValue is about balance, will your change actually do anything? Don’t add unless it has a real impact on your product, and avoid throwing good time at bad work!
The enthusiasm you have for a new idea is not an accurate indicator of its true worth.
What seems like a sure-fire hit right now often gets downgraded to just a “nice to have” by morning. And “nice to have” isn’t worth putting everything else on hold.
Fail Gloriously, Win Quickly
Learning from failure may tell you what not to do the next time, but that doesn’t tell you what to do next time. I believe paying more attention to your successes leads to better outcomes.
Learning from mistakes is overrated.
WarningFailing for the sake of it is not okay. Iterate over what works: success compounds. The point is, pick yourself up, create some successes and repeat it. Do not dwell on the mistakes as this will slow down your momentum and ultimately paralyze your growth.
When something goes wrong, someone is going to tell the story. You will be better off if it’s you.
Otherwise, you create an opportunity for rumors, hearsay, and false information to spread. Tell your customers about what has happened, even if they do not know anything about it. You will deserve more respect if present yourselves as honest and open in the crisis.
Emulate drug dealers, give people a sample, a free trial etc. People will always be back for more if your product is good. Instant success never happens, and even if it does, it never lasts because there is no foundation.
Other failures are not your failures.
If someone failed because of cash flow, a problem with their team, or bad business ideas, it’s their failure. Not yours. So, don’t spend time thinking you should “fail early and fail often” if your goal is to succeed.
Quick wins lead to momentum that fuels motivation.
ImportantWhen you get something done, even and most especially the small tasks, you become motivated to keep going. Focus on small wins and celebrate those accomplishments regularly.
You can manage small victories by prioritizing.
Always create small lists, the thing you are working on, and the immediate thing after that. Having a list too big will be daunting.
Eat Your Own Dog Food
If you try to solve someone else problem, you will always stabbing in the dark. Or you have to ensure that your solution works by testing it continuously with the users. Why not making a product that convinces you and solves your own problem?
Competitors can never copy YOU in your product.
ImportantIf you’re successful, people will try to copy what you do. It’s just a fact of life. But there’s a great way to protect yourself from copycats: Make you part of your product or service.
There is a direct value to be gained from the solution, helping yourself. If you help others with a similar problem along the way, then even better!
James Dyson scratched his own itch. When vacuuming his home, he realized his vacuum cleaner was losing suction due to the dust clogging up. To solve this issue, he came up with the world’s first cyclonic, bagless vacuum cleaner.
It is not necessary to give so much time to competitors. Because worries start to be obsessions. This leads to stress and anxiety. Such thoughts are the poor soil for new sprouts.
The best business ideas usually come from a personal need.
WarningBe careful: once a product is up and running, it can feel like it has its own life. It’s out there working and thriving in the world, and apparently, doing just fine. But if you don’t function as a customer, and if you don’t use your product or service, it’s easy to let things slip.
If you don’t scratch your own itch, someone else will and you’ll be left pondering ‘if only I had’.
Having a dream isn’t about doing things the proper way, or only the way they have been done before; it’s about taking your itch and scratching it how it needs to be scratched, even if that means addressing it in an entirely new manner.
Rework gives insight on how to improve your business, relationships, productivity, and work environment. Quick and easy to read with lots of actionable ideas, all-around a fantastic book on business and entrepreneurship.
Rework is undoubtedly the perfect playbook for making it on your own.
ImportantThis is a book on how to start a business. If you want to operate it simultaneously with the main work, Rework will make a huge difference in your life.
If you expected more dry advice about business plans, competitor analysis and investment plans you might want to reconsider.
That’s because you won’t find business jargon or filler in the pages of Rework, instead there exists a perfect balance of simple yet profound, counter-intuitive yet useful wisdom that not only slaps convention in the face but takes it out behind the shed and unleashes an old fashioned butt whoopin’.
Inspiration is not forever. Inspiration is a multiplier of productivity.
WarningBut it will not wait for you. It is momentary. If you have a desire to do something, you need to start it immediately.
So what are you waiting for?
Whether you have tried starting a business before or never tried at all, now is the time to utilize your brains full potential and start doing and creating the impossible, no matter how big or small your idea — you just need to start. If you enjoyed the article or have any comments, recommendations, or tips for improvement please do comment below.