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ReWork

Unorthodox advice for growing companies

By Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson
16-minute read
Audio available
ReWork by Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson

Rework (2010) throws out the traditional notions of what it takes to run a business and offers a collection of unorthodox advice, ranging from productivity to communication and product development.

These lessons are based on the authors’ own experiences in building, running and growing their company to a point where it generates millions of dollars in profits annually.

  • Anyone who has ever considered starting their own company
  • Anyone interested in what work should be like in the 21st century
  • Anyone trying to create an environment of productivity

Jason Fried is one of the original founders of 37signals, a web development company that offers simple yet powerful collaboration tools.

David Heinemeier Hansson is a partner at the same company, and the creator of the popular Ruby on Rails programming framework, which powers not only 37signals’ products but also Twitter, Hulu and thousands of other web services.

The duo’s previous book Getting Real was also a bestseller.

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ReWork

By Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson
  • Read in 16 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 11 key ideas
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ReWork by Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson
Synopsis

Rework (2010) throws out the traditional notions of what it takes to run a business and offers a collection of unorthodox advice, ranging from productivity to communication and product development.

These lessons are based on the authors’ own experiences in building, running and growing their company to a point where it generates millions of dollars in profits annually.

Key idea 1 of 11

You need less than you think to start your own company – launch as soon as the core of your business is ready.

Founding your own business has never been easier than today. If you start small, you need far less time and resources than you imagine.

First, test the waters: don’t quit your day job to slave 100-hour weeks, but rather gauge your enthusiasm by squeezing in a few hours each week to work on your idea. You don’t need to take on crippling amounts of debt either; just use whatever facilities and equipment you have at your disposal or can easily afford. Only use external investment as a last resort, as it will not only dilute your stake in the idea but the process of looking for funding is time-consuming and distracting. In most cases, all you need is a laptop and an idea to get started; everything else is peripheral to your success anyway.

When starting your company, focus all your efforts on building the core of your business. Without this core, your business cannot function. For example, hotdogs are the core of a hotdog cart operation. The core should be something you think will be stable in time. Amazon’s core isn’t only about books; it’s about fast shipping, affordable prices and a great selection. Publishing fads come and go, but these are things people will always be willing to pay for.

Once your core is ready, launch immediately. Don’t wait for every aspect of the business to be fully complete. You can work out the details later. When 37signals launched its Basecamp product, they could not even bill customers yet. But with the monthly billing cycle, they knew they had four weeks to fix the issue. Just get started and wing it.

You need less than you think to start your own company – launch as soon as the core of your business is ready.

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