The book “Rework” by Jason Fried and David Heinemeyer from 37signals is a really great book for anyone who has anything to do with entrepreneurship, IT management, or building products.
I liked it for several reasons. It’s not a typical management book. It’s written using a really simple language. It’s really easy to read – you read it as if you were listening to an IT professional who gives you a bunch of “secrets” of craft on how to run your organization to achieve great results.
The scope of the book is broad. It talks about motivations for building products and some related misconceptions. It gives recommendations on important aspects of starting projects. It describes ideas of how to achieve productivity, deal with competition and customers, about hiring, and the company culture.
Surely it’s not comprehensive enough to exhaust all topics mentioned in the book. But it isn’t meant to be exhaustive. Instead, the book gives a really good perspective of what worked for the guys at 37signals.
It’s nicely divided in to multiple, vital, and compact topics. Each chapter is maximum a few pages long, and it goes directly to the point without unnecessary digressions. Most of the chapter titles are just statements of good practices. For example, “Start making something”, “Ignore the details early on”, or “Focus on what won’t change”. The rest of the chapter very accurately explains the topic of the chapter.
Although they might seem obvious, the ideas presented in the book make a lot of sense, and it’s good to keep them in mind. It seems the authors speak from experience and the recommendations in that book have been really thought through. They are sharp, to the point, and fall into the memory really quickly. One can agree or disagree with them, but it’s hard to forget them.
It’s easy to come back to that book and find good ideas on running IT companies and building great products. I highly recommend reading this book.