Are you looking into running a company? Or do you own a company? The Rework book is an interesting piece of non-fiction having some unconventional insights for running your business.
The book, written by Jason Fried (one of the founders of basecamp) contains 86 brief chapters of bold, straightforward statements. In this review, I want to show you a small glimpse of the book and discuss a couple of topics Rework talks about. And why it is such a great book!
Most of the ReWork Book chapters talk about how you can run your company as optimal as possible (obviously, according to the authors). And opposite to the long and dreaded texts of most management books, chapters are concise (yes, I had those dreaded books in university too). Moreover, chapters are rooted in practice and not in theory.
Thus, the ReWork book is packed with powerful statements that make you think and also oppose the conventional wisdom. Oddly enough, that feels good! And exactly this style makes it a wonderful book.
But… let’s continue tho this actual ReWork book review. And dive into some of the statements that are made by the book.
Some awesome statements from the ReWork book
Now you may be wondering, what kind of statements are there in ReWork!? And how are they so straightforward? So what are typical statements that can be found in the Rework Book? Let’s pick a few:
A lot of companies want to grow. And a lot of people want to have a company that grows. And companies that grow often get a lot of attention. But growth has a lot of disadvantages, such as inflexibility, bureaucracy and expanding costs. So consider if you really want to grow, or growth is even necessary.
Forget about formal education
In many contexts (and in my opinion especially if you’re at those Dutch everyone-sits birthday parties), people find your (academic) certifications and education important. But is it? Many smart people did not follow education, and education also has disadvantages. The use of difficult words for example.
Own your bad news
The old adage of taking responsibility is true. Take responsibility if something goes wrong. Communicate failures, instead of playing political games or blaming others. Own your success and own your failures. In this way, you prevent uncertainty and rumours.
Underdo your competition
In my education, a lot was spoken about first-mover advantage, sustainable competitive advantages and all those amazing marketing management buzz-words. But is overdoing your competition always the best path? Offer more services or better functionalities? The ReWork book contradicts this, posing that it isn’t better to do more, but it is better to do less better.
Meetings are toxic
Personally, I love this statement, as I’m always a bit bored by these endless meetings. There are people who love meetings, and there are those who don’t. Rework argues that meetings can be potentially destructive for the productivity of your company. A lot of meetings take 1 or 2 hours for multiple people, while the agenda items can often be solved much quicker in many occasions.
What ReWork does talk about
There are, of course, many other of such statements. But if I have a company, what global subjects does ReWork talk about? Think of topics such as starting your own company, progressing, productivity, competition, marketing, staff, damage control and culture. By talking about these topics, the book gives a vast array of subjects that are very useful in starting a company.
However, you will not find extensive guides on how to write a business plan or how to deal with finances. It’s something the book has not been written for, but luckily there are many other books on this topic.
“The simplest way to make a great product or service is to make something you want to use.”
The strongest point, in my opinion, is that Reworks makes you rethink. Rethink about many subjects that we take for granted in our business cultures.
The landscape of how businesses act is actually rapidly changing, and this book rides these waves of these developments. This is why I really can recommend this book. However, never forget to apply what you’ve read in a book, something I often forget :).
But, but, does the Rework book have some cons?
So, I am quite happy with this applicable book, but still, there are a few remarks to be made. First, the companies from the authors are mainly internet companies, which make up for some drawbacks of Rework.
While many statements can be applied to any company, many other statements are best to be applied to companies within the digital industry.
In addition, the book mainly consists of small chapters, each making a (bold) statement. This is nice, but sometimes it lacks some depth or build-up because of this structure. In my opinion, sometimes subjects lack the deeper contents that are needed for the actual practice of running a business.
Subsequently, while the book is 273 pages, it feels too short. And that is quite odd with such a number of pages. So if you can’t get enough of this, the authors also have another book called Getting Real. I must, however, note this book is most suitable if you are running a SaaS (Software as a Service) or digital business.
Rework is written in an amazing style and opposed to many theoretical books, it does get to the point. With 86 powerful one-liners (but still substantive one-liners), Jason Fried and his pal David Hansson clearly show how you can view your own company and work differently.
One of the things I really like about the book is the absence of jargon and superfluous text, making it super easy to read. And the ReWork book does this without sacrificing powerful, but mostly practical, insights.
For such obvious, this book is reviewed by other users and online media very well. If you are an entrepreneur or if you have an entrepreneurial drive, this book is definitely recommended. But please take a big note: the book is the most suitable for the digital industry.
So to conclude: what do I think are the major pros of this book?
- The book is pretty straightforward.
- It is very easy to read.
- It contains some very helpful statements for modern companies.
And what are the major cons in my opinion?
- It could be more substantial and sometimes lacks some depth.
- It does fit some industries better as others.
Oh, and if you don’t mind, this review contains affiliate links to put some bread on the table.