Rework, by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, is a great book for anyone who either owns, or is contemplating starting, a business. The authors founded 37Signals, a Chicago-based software development firm that created the website development software Ruby On Rails and the popular Highrise contact management program — among others. The book expresses their successful business development philosophy which distills down to:
(1) create a product/service that you would like to use (because it solves a problem you have experienced) (2) start it now (3) learn from your successes (as opposed to other people's failures) and (4) continuously rework your business in response to market signals to make it better.
Along the way, they provide invaluable advice designed to disabuse people of commonly accepted business practices that they have found to be counter-productive. These include everything from building extensive mission statements to seeking outside investment capital and working from written business plans. (As you can see, Rework is no ordinary business book!)
The authors are creative minimalists who believe in distilling and developing a core business idea without encumbering it with non-essential frills (see Chapters “Be a Curator” and “Throw Less at the Problem.”) They also believe in a new entrepreneurial work ethic that includes a 10- to 40-hour work week.
They practice what they preach. Rework, they write, began as a 57,000 word book which they then edited down to 27,000 words. Consequently, the book provides a quick, entertaining, thought-provoking read on pages peppered with insightful quotes and great, game-changing ideas.