The Review of REWORK by Jason Fried of 37Signals
I seem to have been lucky enough to buy several great business books, because I feel like my last reviews have all been “Must have!” However, I think I was wrong when I said that, because I just finished reading REWORK. And now I really mean it when I say “WOW. This is a must read!”
Arrogance – or Genius?
People have told me that the guys at 37Signals were arrogant a-holes, but I’ve never heard of or followed anything they’ve ever done. I knew they were the creators of Basecamp and Ruby on Rails but that was about it. I picked up REWORK because well, the cover and back designs looked awesome. And there were awesome looking hand drawn illustrations inside. Now that’s my idea of a great book by designers.
I don’t think the guys are arrogant or a-holes, I think they just know their stuff and they write about what they actually know. People say their only talk about one way to succeed, but why should they talk about any other way than the way they’ve done it? This actually makes them BS-less. If they talked about succeeding by X, Y, and Z, but have only done X, I would’ve thrown this book out the window. Their combination of humor, snarkiness and serious business sense makes for a great combination and a very non-boring read. This might be the first business book I’ve ever read that didn’t send me drifting off while reading. That’s tough!
Since I’ve read this book, I’ve subscribed to their blog and their podcasts. I suggest that if you’ve never listened to their podcasts, do it now because they are the perfect combination of humor and business. Be aware – there’s some cussing, but it’s funny cussing. Perhaps these guys could go into business comedy if they get tired of making software
The book is short, about 275 pages and half of those pages are illustrations and half filled pages. This makes for a quick read, as there’s absolutely NO filler in these pages. It’s all gold. Each chapter is about 1 1/2 pages long (yes you read that right). But you could read one chapter a day and have hours to contemplate the meaning and use to you.
REWORK is more catered to businesses that sell products, but I still found useful advice. It actually seemed like the perfect book to read at the perfect time, since we just started coding up Codesnipp.it and wanted to make sure it was the perfect web app that offered the perfect “Freemium” model. REWORK was great for learning about software business models, although it’s equally great to apply the principals to your freelance business as well.
I loved REWORK because it contains nothing I’ve ever read about before. It talked about making your products they way you want it, not the way your customers want it; keeping your features to a minimum; ignoring your competition; and running your business like a drug dealer. Pure gold.
I normally tend to call B.S when I read books written about a bunch of “experts”. Normally the books rehash the same obvious junk over and over again. This isn’t that kinda book. These guys know their stuff. So if you only have enough money to buy one book, skip “The Smashing Book”, skip “Digging into WordPress” and skip everything by Seth Godin. Buy REWORK. It’s the first business book I’ve given 5 stars to-ever.
Want to buy REWORK?
You can purchase REWORK at Amazon for $12.75 or catch it at Borders or Barnes and Nobles.