Rework

  • by Jason Fried, David Heinemeier Hansson
  • Narrated by Mike Chamberlain
  • 2 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

From the founders of the trailblazing software company 37signals, here is a different kind of business book one that explores a new reality. Today, anyone can be in business. Tools that used to be out of reach are now easily accessible. Technology that cost thousands is now just a few bucks or even free. Stuff that was impossible just a few years ago is now simple.That means anyone can start a business. And you can do it without working miserable 80-hour weeks or depleting your life savings. You can start it on the side while your day job provides all the cash flow you need. Forget about business plans, meetings, office space - you don't need them.
With its straightforward language and easy-is-better approach, Rework is the perfect playbook for anyone who's ever dreamed of doing it on their own. Hardcore entrepreneurs, small-business owners, people stuck in day jobs who want to get out, and artists who don't want to starve anymore will all find valuable inspiration and guidance in these pages. It's time to rework work.

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Audible Editor Reviews

"Rework takes aim at marketing, hiring, and other disciplines associated with building a business as if they were bottles lined up against a wall. Then it blows them away...Fried and Hansson are the Henry David Thoreaus of entrepreneurship." (Leigh Buchanan, Inc. Magazine)
"Rework is a Webby manifesto for post-recession success. Forget about strategic planning, [the authors] advise. And ignore your competition - unless you feel like picking a public fight." (Nick Summers, Newsweek)
"I want to buy a copy for everyone I know either to validate their current business practices or to expose them to alternative ways of doing things." (Alexis Rodich, Washington Post)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Simple, Quick, Timely, Contrarian Advice

An excellent look at the work ethic of a very successful software company that does everything according to its own rules.

Best takeaways:
- Work is not just something you do 40 hours a week, it's work. Maybe it takes 10 hours, or maybe it takes 80 hours a week.
- If you're taking more than 40 hours a week to work, you're not working efficiently.
- Your employees are not 13 year olds... stop treating them like they are.
- Be very slow to hire.
- Growth doesn't equal success, sometimes growth is girth.
- Planning is guessing.
- If deciding between a few people for a position, hire the best writer - clear writing is a sign of clear thinking and an ability to communicate.

I entered the corporate structure very late in life, after owning my own business, and I've always thought the same way these guys apparently think.

My only complaint, is I would have liked some more real world examples and experiences, but my guess is they originally had more, but pulled stories out to make the book more brief and to the point.

They even say, at one point that in the final draft, they cut the book into half as many words as they had originally wrote.

Mike Chamberlain is an excellent narrator, and really added to the experience.
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- Paul

Some good ideas. Some not.

I liked some of the thoughts in Rework. The idea that set company policies equal organizational scar tissue is spot on. Planning = guessing is an original thought. And some of the hiring practices ??? like not hiring "supermen" and working in the position you are filling before you fill it ??? make good sense.

Then again, there are a number of ideas in Rework that are just plain wrong. Smaller isn't always better. Yes, if you make software, small works because once you develop something, the growth comes from incremental sales. And your channel is virtually frictionless. But what if what you sell is time and experience? Then, the fewer bodies you have working, the less money you make. And what if you make pencil erasers? You still need to hire bodies to manufacture, transport and sell your product.

Another idea that's just wrong is the notion that it's better to write a blog and rely on free social media than to use traditional media like PR and advertising. This may be true of some products, and it's especially true of web-based products, but many businesses, like retail, food and manufactured goods, could not function without traditional media. It really depends upon what you are selling.

On top of all this, many of the "observations" that the authors make about business today ??? how meetings are toxic and sampling a product is a good practice, and saying ASAP is meaningless and counterproductive ??? are right out of a Dilbert cartoon. Without he humor. Business people, at least the smart ones, know these things already. There's no insight offered here. Yet the authors treat these subjects like they're the first people to ever think of them.

From the number of times the authors used the words "suck," "sh-t" and "f--k," and the brash, sanctimonious, we're-brilliant-and-your-a-moron tone of the text (and perhaps the narrator shaded that part a bit) the reader is left with a feeling that Fried and Heinemeir are nothing more than a couple of young guys who think they have the business world figured out. But they really don't.

For the record, I use 37Signals products. I think they are brilliant, clean and powerful. But just because a company does a few things right, that does not make them experts on everything.
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- Grant "caffeinated"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-09-2010
  • Publisher: Random House Audio