It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work Book Summary - It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work Book explained in key points
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It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work summary

Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson

Reclaim your work-life balance

4 (229 ratings)
21 mins

Brief summary

It Doesn't Have to Be Crazy at Work is a guidebook for creating calmer, more productive work environments. Authors, Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, challenge traditional notions of workplace culture to offer practical techniques for achieving sustainable business growth.

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    It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work
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    To scale back the crazy at work, start thinking of your company as a product.

    How many times have you burst through your front door after a long day, collapsed on the sofa and exclaimed, “It’s so crazy at work!” Unfortunately, in our modern era of long hours, early starts and weekend work sessions, this scenario can be a nightly occurrence. Welcome to the workaholic world, in which 70 to 80-hour weeks have somehow become the norm. What’s the end result of this crazy working culture?

    Unfortunately, it’s not higher productivity. More often than not, all the extra hours you spend at your desk aren’t spent on work that’s vital. Instead, they’re frittered away in a haze of anxiety and distractions brought about by the demands of new technologies and endless meetings.

    In fact, the real outcome of long and hectic work days is added stress. This stress originates in the culture of our workplaces. Unhealthy workplace culture starts from the top and is handed down to managers, their subordinates and even the company’s customers. So, what’s the solution? How can organizations stop stress, change their culture and still maintain profitability?

    Well, the authors believe it all begins with changing the way you view your company. To begin with, you should start looking at it like a product, and treating it accordingly. Though this might seem like a crazy idea, look at it this way: If your company produces products, the company itself is also a tool - one that is used to make those products.

    Bearing that in mind, there are certain questions any good product manager should ask himself. Is your company simple for employees to use, or is it complicated? Where is it fast, and where is it slow? Does your company have any bugs that need fixing? Just as the best companies never stop trying to make their products as good as possible, a product manager with a curious mindset is continually searching for places to make improvements in company culture.

    And once you start searching, brace yourself - there will definitely be room for improvement.

    Indeed, organizations often share one very important trait with software. That trait? They both tend to have areas in which they crash, due to either faulty design or oversights on the part of the developer. Luckily, you’re about to discover how you can phase out the crazy and usher in an atmosphere of lasting calm in your company.

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    What is It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work about?

    It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work (2019) is a refreshing antidote to dysfunctional work culture. Drawing on real-world examples from the authors’ successful software company, these blinks shine a light on how we can say goodbye to habitual workplace stress and become calm, focused and efficient.

    It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work Review

    It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work (2018) is a valuable read for anyone looking to create a more sustainable and sane work environment. Here's why this book is worth your time:

    • Offering a refreshing perspective, it challenges the commonly accepted norms of the modern workplace, urging readers to prioritize their well-being and productivity.
    • With its practical tips and strategies, the book provides actionable ways to reduce stress, increase focus, and foster a healthier work-life balance.
    • Rooted in the authors' personal experiences at Basecamp, the book offers authentic and honest insights into how they've managed to maintain a calm and productive work culture.

    Best quote from It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work

    Alls fair in love and war. Except this isnt love, and it isnt war. Its business.

    —Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson
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    Who should read It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work?

    • High achievers longing for a better work-life balance
    • Managers looking for a fresh perspective
    • Entrepreneurs trying to de-stress

    About the Author

    David Heinemeier Hansson is a co-founder of the software company Basecamp and the New York Times best-selling co-author of Rework and Remote. Hansson is also the creator of Ruby on Rails, the software program that powers sites such as Twitter and Airbnb. Jason Fried is a co-founder and president of Basecamp.

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    It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work FAQs 

    What is the main message of It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work?

    The main message of It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work is that work doesn't have to be chaotic and stressful to be successful.

    How long does it take to read It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work?

    The reading time for It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work varies, but it typically takes a few hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work a good book? Is it worth reading?

    It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work is a worthwhile read for anyone seeking a healthier and more sustainable approach to work.

    Who is the author of It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work?

    The authors of It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work are Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson.

    What to read after It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work?

    If you're wondering what to read next after It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • How to Do Nothing by Jenny Odell
    • The 4 Day Week by Andrew Barnes with Stephanie Jones
    • ReWork by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson
    • Achieve More by Working Less by The Blinkist Team
    • Do Pause by Robert Poynton
    • 168 Hours by Laura Vanderkam
    • Essentialism by Greg McKeown
    • Living the 80/20 Way by Richard Koch
    • Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl
    • Co-Intelligence by Ethan Mollick