One of my colleagues gave me a tip about this book, Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson. Yes, they are the founders of 37signals, a company which all of you hardcore GTD-enthusiast knows about. So, I got myself the ebook and in the spirit of sharing, here’s my key takeaways:
1. “Planning is guessing.” Yes, too many people worry about long-term planning. So don’t. Personally, I think that a company should work more with their vision instead of their 5-year plans.
2. “Workaholics wind up creating more problems than they solve.” Agreed. And I’ve actually taken some serious steps myself to rid me of this addiction.
3. “Having the idea for eBay has nothing to do with actually creating eBay.” I love this, of course. We must start celebrating the doers instead of the talkers. But wait a minute, we already do that… I’d say, there’s a special place in heaven for those who actually knows what they’re doing. In my opinion, individuals must embrace both the “doing” part and the “thinking” part. I have no respect for people that fail to actually practice some deep-thinking from time to time.
4. “A business without a path to profit isn’t a business, it’s a hobby.”
5. Several passages deals with the basic idea “less is more”. I agree, clutter weighs you down and clutter doesn’t make you happy. It might be an illusion of safety at best.
6. “When you make something, you always make something else. You can’t make just one thing. Everything has a by-product. Observant and creative business minds spot these by-products and see opportunities.” Awesome advice. Spot your by-products and ship, ship, ship.
7. “Meetings are toxic.” Agree to 100%.
8. “Find a judo solution, one that delivers maximum efficiency with minimum effort. Judo solutions are all about getting the most out of doing the least. Whenever you face an obstacle, look for a way to judo it.”
9. “Do less than your competitors to beat them. Solve the simple problems and leave the hairy, difficult, nasty problems to the competition.” I see the point, but I wouldn’t give this advice. Even hairy problems might just as well have easy solutions. It’s not the magnitude of the problems that determine if you can change the world or not, it’s the simplicity of your solutions. I say, fuck the problems and go straight for solutions instead.
10. “Don’t write it down.” Hell yes, do write it down! The basic premise of behavioral psychology is that you get more of what you reinforce. So if you get a good idea and you want more, write it down. If you get a piece of valuable information and you want to get in the habit of getting more useful information, write it down. I guess that for a web service it makes sense to only listen to what the community goes on and on about, but still, even for them there might be hidden gems lurking around in the finest piece of feedback.
11. An important theme is “sharing is caring”. Awesome, and as a social media expert I really see the benefits of playing the role of a etcher in any industry.
12. Hire great writers. “That’s because being a good writer is about more than writing. Clear writing is a sign of clear thinking. Great writers know how to communicate. They make things easy to understand. They can put themselves in someone else’s shoes. They know what to omit. And those are qualities you want in any candidate.” I suddenly love this ebook! B-E-S-T advice ever!
13. Let’s skip thirteen. Bad luck. And don’t treat employees like they’re thirteen either.
14. “The environment has a lot more to do with great work than most people realize.” Hm, this made me think. And I can actually buy into this. This is because I’ve practiced a lot of team sports back in the day and I know that any B-team can kick the A-team’s ass as long as they have a better environment.
Now, these are my personal key takeaways. Some stuff I already knew or found redundant for me personally, so I still think you should get the book yourself!