I have a pretty long commute to and from the studio each day, with an hours uninterrupted train journey each way, and when I’m not asleep I usually pass the time by reading something (so expect a few more book related posts to appear here). My last two train rides have been filled by a book called ‘Rework – Change the way you work forever’, not the kind of title that would normally feature high up my list of future reads. However, two things attracted me to this book – the conflicting reviews I’d read, and the authors – they’re the key people behind 37signals, the development company responsible for project management software called Basecamp – an integral part of our working day at Applied Works.
There is much I like about the book, and having worked with a few start-ups over the years, I think many would benefit from adding this to their bookshelf. In broad terms the message throughout is to reject as the only option, some commonly held notions of what it is to be professional or successful in business – or put another way, have the confidence to do it your way. I also like the over-arching theme of making things more simple – the book itself has been edited down to a two hour read (and I’m not a quick reader), which is a great example in itself of the effectiveness of being concise.
As with any ‘advice’ themed book the only sensible approach is to try out those aspects which are well suited to your particular situation – it’s not a blueprint for conducting business. And there are many aspects of business tackled in the book, all with catchy titles and illustrated statements, eg. ‘Meetings are toxic’ and ‘Resumés are ridiculous’. But if I had to pick out passages that I particularly identify with, they’d have to be ‘ASAP is poison’ and ‘Go to sleep’.