Monday, March 22, 2010

Rework review (37signals new book)

Rework (front cover)Rework (back cover)

Rework isn’t a book in the conventional sense – it’s basically a set of one-page polemics on the value of common sense over any formalised method / doctrine for managing projects / people and creating a start-up. I admire the guys at 37signals enormously, have spent a lot money (willingly) on their products, and am a huge fan of what they do, and how they do it. However, even I am not entirely convinced their advice is applicable to everyone. That said, it couldn’t be much easier to read – it’s about an hour from cover-to-cover.

Summary points (stop me if you haven’t heard any of these before):

  • The best time to start a company is now
  • Start small and don’t be impatient
  • Don’t make a five-year plan – it’s just guesswork
  • Don’t depend on raising capital if you can help it
  • Don’t employ people unless you need to
  • Marketing is just spam – do it yourself
  • Leave out features in favour of quality
  • Listen to your customers – feedback is everything
  • Don’t work too hard – if you are you’re doing it wrong
  • Meetings are generally a waste of time
  • Meeting organisers are a waste of space (& money)
  • Make sure you enjoy it.

Difficult to argue with any of the above – providing you’re running a small software company. It’s the same old stuff – just use common sense. I don’t know how many more times we need to hear that as a message.

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