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Book Review: "Rework", by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson

I don’t think I’ve ever liked a book as much as this one.

One thing that is quite unique about this book is not only do they assume you are possibly uninterested or won’t absorb the contents within the book, but they make some fairly effective methods to actually counter that. The book itself looks like it is about two hundred pages or so; however, it is closer to one hundred pages. There are informative and reinforcing graphics on every other page, the pages are super thick, the font size is large, and the messages are extremely well toned and focused. One of the lessons in “Rework” is “don’t let a seven minute meeting take up thirty minutes if you have seven minutes of stuff worth to say and your calendar app has a meeting size of thirty minutes. They live that message in the book; pretty much every word means something. It is motivating to read, motivating to finish, and motivating to re-read.

Jason and David said this book was their distilled experience from ten years working at a company, and it shows. This advice is not generic MBA advice. No MBA would ever liberally scatter expletives in their business lessons or professional workplace. Jason and David do it everywhere. It helps hone their overall message, which honestly should be pretty obvious to any child (and is the stuff adults forget). Keep the company small; build something sellable; do things right the first time; learn how to say no.

One thing I found interesting was how one lesson (“Focus on the stuff that will always be there”) was pretty much told to a reporter verbatim by Jeff Bezos. It’s interesting because Jeff interested in Basecamp back in the day - I wonder if Jason and David came up with it, or whether they got it from Jeff. This book definitely has a good deal of influence on many great businesses, and invokes a great deal of businesses to prove its point.

The last point they make may be their most important, and part of the reason why I’m working on my blog. Inspiration is perishable. Write things down as they come up, and write things down to reframe things and better remember them. It’s a tidy way in order to wrap up this book.