Saturday, September 18, 2010
Rework by Jason Fried and David Hansson
Jason Fried and David Hansson are the founders of 37 Signals which is a software development company. They have produced a number of different products including Ruby on Rails. They are contributors to the blog Signal Vs. Noise. 37 Signals was not founded on venture capital.
The approach which is described in this book is contrary to many current business practices. The authors are describing a bootstrapping and self motivated style of business practice. They write against fast growth, venture capital, and forecasting. For them financial projections are just guesses.
This does not mean that they are backward. The authors describe how it is possible with a laptop and very little money to start your own company. They describe how their company hires and works with people remotely on many software projects. They tell you that to start a company you do not need an office or fancy quaters. Your house or a garage will do.
I like the ideas in this book. It fits well with my own personal style. I agree that working all night, having lots of meetings, and creating giant lists do not lead to being more productive. I also like the philosophy of doing it yourself as much as possible, and breaking large projects into small pieces.
The layout of this book is very well done. Each section has a large black and white drawing with a saying next to it to begin the chapter. Some of the sayings are; "good enough is fine", "long lists don't get done," and "say no by default."
The writing is plain language. There are very few business terms in the book. Jason Fried and David Hansson ask a lot of questions in the text. They also use short bulleted lists. Most of the paragraphs are fairly short. This makes for very fast easy to absorb reading. It is more of a book on a philosophy of business than a book of practice or case studies.
The book does not have an index. There are not a lot of other companies cited. If you read this book, you might stop talking, roll up your sleeves, and start working.