We always ask our interviews what is one book they recommend we read. We think reading books is pretty important. So is brushing your teeth. And getting your moles checked.
Books can provide you with some valuable lessons others learned so you don’t have to make the same mistakes. Save your mistakes for lessons others haven’t had to learn.
One of the books that gets recommended over and over and over and over is ReWork by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, both of 37 Signals – a very profitable software company that has a knack for making good decisions and bringing ideas to life.
The book is all about how work should, can and will happen. A series of short essays that anyone with an idea will be able to relate to and learn from. Personally, it’s a book that I recommend to every aspiring entrepreneur.
Does that mean IdeaMensch is officially endorsing the book? Sure. But if Jason Fried goes out there and commits some sort of heinous crime, please understand the context of our endorsement.
And don’t just take my word for it. Here is what some of our interviewees had to say about it.
Emily Winters, the Owner of Merrypad.com had this to say.
Rework by 37 Signals. For me, it was a great reality check for companies and workers in understanding common things like time management, practical organization strategy, product development, and general economics. And it’s a damn good read. Quick too, as in, you can read it in one night, and you’ll probably try to read it again immediately. It’s been the book I’ve consistently recommend for the whole last year.
Dayson Pais, Founder and Janitor of Textme said:
I’d like to recommend two similar books – Rework by 37signals and Small is Big by Seth Godin. They’re both so minimal and practical.
Jim Thomas, the Founder and CEO of Itemize.com told us:
“ ReWork” by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson. It’s a must-read if you’re running or working for a startup and shows how much “ conventional” wisdom is really fear or laziness in disguise. It’s pretty breezy. You don’t have to implement everything they advise, but even taking just a few things will improve your product.
Michal Hudecek – Founder of IdeasWatch.com
My favorite is Rework from Jason Fried. It’s about entrepreneurship without all the useless “corporational facade”.
Jonny White – Founder of Ticket Tailor
I recently read Rework which is a nice, quick, motivating book. The Zend Framework is a great platform that we use to build our projects on.
Justin Gray – CEO and Chief Marketing Evangelist of LeadMD
Rework and Basecamp — both by 37signals. If you haven’t looked at their company, it’s inspirational.
Jon Reifschneider – Founder and CEO of 31Projects
Rework by Jason Fried & David Heinemeier-Hansson – this is a must-read for anyone who wants to be an entrepreneur. It challenges many of the traditional beliefs around work and entrepreneurship and puts forth a lot of actionable recommendations on how to do things better.
Julian Keenaghan – Co-founder of Tastebuds.fm
The Ruby on Rails framework combined with the 37 signals philosophy, encapsulated in their Getting Real and Rework books is incredibly conducive to getting the important things done quickly without stressing about the fluff.
Eric Bouchard – Founder of Wallcast
I liked the book “Rework” by the 37signals guys. It’s not perfect but, overall, it’s a good reminder of how to execute with a no nonsense approach.
Jill Salzman – The Momtrepreneur Maven
The current trend we’re seeing in books like “The 4 Hour Workweek” and ”Rework” that frown upon the 80-hour work weeks very much excites me. It’s good to know that people are starting to publicly recognize that as much can get accomplished in a 20-hour workweek as it can in an 80-hour workweek, and that the latter is actually mind-numbing and not very effective. It recognizes that people work differently from one another, at different paces and at different times, and the trend will hopefully grow in such a way that a lot of the country can relax a little–and still get the same amount of work done.
Here is a full list of the essays that you’ll find in the book, and here is a link where you can download a pdf excerpt of the book.The new reality
Ignore the real world
Learning from mistakes is overrated
Planning is guessing
Enough with “entrepreneurs”
Make a dent in the universe
Scratch your own itch
Start making something
No time is no excuse
Draw a line in the sand
Mission statement impossible
Outside money is Plan Z
You need less than you think
Start a business, not a start-up
Building to flip is building to flop
Build half, not half-ass
Start at the epicenter
Ignore the details early on
Making the call is making progress
Be a curator
Throw less at the problem
Focus on what won’t change
Tone is in your fingers
Sell your by-products
Illusions of agreement
Reasons to quit
Interruption is the enemy of productivity
Meetings are toxic
Good enough is fine
Don’t be a hero
Go to sleep
Your estimates suck
Long lists don’t get done
Make tiny decisions
Decommoditize your product
Pick a fight
Underdo your competition
Who cares what they’re doing?
Say no by default
Let your customers outgrow you
Don’t confuse enthusiasm with priority
Be at-home good
Don’t write it down
Build an audience
Out-teach your competition
Go behind the scenes
Nobody likes plastic flowers
Press releases are spam
Forget about the Wall Street Journal
Drug dealers get it right
Marketing is not a department
The myth of the overnight sensation
Do it yourself first
Hire when it hurts
Pass on great people
Strangers at a cocktail party
Resumes are ridiculous
Years of irrelevance
Forget about formal education
Hire managers of one
Hire great writers
The best are everywhere
Own your bad news
Speed changes everything
How to say you’re sorry
Put everyone on the front lines
Take a deep breath
You don’t create a culture
Decisions are temporary
Skip the rock stars
They’re not thirteen
Send people home at 5:00
Don’t scar on the first cut
Sound like you
ASAP is poison
Inspiration is perishable