Book Review: Rework

Hi there! It’s been quite some time since my last book review, actually it’s been more than a year since when I reviewed the “Blue Ocean Strategy“. Time flies! It’s been a year with ups and downs and with new experiences work-wise, that got me reading lots and lots of stuff, but not this kind of books…

I have also finished the “Emotional Intelligence” by Daniel Goleman and started the other one of his, “Working with Emotional Intelligence“. Really nice books both of them, but in some parts they seem too “papery” and technical which does not allow me to really digest them. Thousands of good ideas and examples there though. I would recommend them without a second thought!

Now, for the book in hand! I found it recently in a bookstore and I was captivated by its title (good choice there!), although I know better than to judge a book by its cover! When I took it from the shelf and read the introduction, I immediately took it home with me! The book is called “Rework” and it’s written by David Heinemeier Hansson and Jason Fried.

Rework
Image taken from http://www.doodlekit.com/blog/entry/592261/defending-rework-37signals-latest-book-is-hardly-dangerous

As I usually do with this kind of books, I tried to keep notes while reading them, summarizing its main points. The analogy there is something like, 1/2 a page (tops) for every 2 pages of the book. This means that for each book, I can have a “zipped” version at a quarter of its original size. This nice version comes in hand when you want to go back to the learnings and lessons of each book, looking for something, anything. My own personal ToC is better than the one the book has on, and it’s not like you have to go through the entire book. How does it look? Sth like that…

IMG_5136

My overall feeling about this book was a really positive one. It’s a provocative book, challenging many of the traditional notions around working and companies in general. I like that style of writing cause (a) it comes from concrete real-world experience and there’s value there that you cannot overlook and (b) I always enjoy disrupting the normal/mainstream way of doing things!

What I learned from it? Well, this is an even shorter version of my notes in bullets:

  1. Ignore the real world when it makes you do nothing. Don’t hear pessimists!
  2. Planning is actually guessing in disguise (strategic guess, etc.)
  3. Workaholism is stupid, unproductive and comes from people that thrive when feeling like a victim or a hero!
  4. You’re not an entrepreneur and you don’t own a startup. Ignore hip culture! You can be a starter owning a business though. Is that ok?
  5. Make a dent in the universe. Make a difference with what you do. Don’t just be. Be amazing, be f***ing awesome!
  6. Don’t get money from no one! When you borrow, you immediately owe them more than the money you took from them!
  7. Be as lean as possible (remove, simplify, streamline) and throw less at the problems!
  8. Find a JUDO solution (maximum efficiency – minimum effort) – That’s my life motto actually! 😉
  9. All companies have customers, a few have fans, even fewer have an audience!
  10. Do it yourself! Get involved and know your business to be able to manage others in a better way
  11. Kill the delegators in the team. Everybody works! Hire managers of one!
  12. Long meetings are toxic! They come from workaholics and delegators and do no good!
  13. Great writers are always important, even when it comes to technical people!
  14. You don’t enforce your culture/values. They are created seamlessly, without you knowing sometimes!
  15. Don’t treat your employees like they are 13 y/o and let them go back home at 5!

Still, if I had to choose even less of the above to take with me (in the spirit of lean), I would definitely go with points 1, 5, 8, 11 and 15!

If you don’t want my take on the book, get your hands on one and start reading. No matter what your background (less or more technical, managerial or not) or status (self employed, jobless, etc.) is, you will get a great deal of learnings out of it!

Till the next one! 😉

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*Please note that the previous lines are not a synopsis of the book. All the related posts are just about my personal interpretation of what a book contains, including some reflection as to what each book means for me. If you hold any copyright over the material discussed, please do not hesitate to contact me with your concerns. 

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