2 minute read

Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson

“Rework” is not your typical business book. It’s a quick read - a collection of small ideas/tips on Entrepreneurship, Productivity, Management, Marketing, Hiring, Business Culture, and more.

Some of the book’s ideas wouldn’t work for large companies; others are controversial and go against all standard business practices and beliefs. But some are just great. The beauty of “Rework” is that it forces you to rethink what you thought you knew about productivity, management, and marketing.

Here are just a small portion of the ideas that got me to pause and think:

Inspiration is perishable - if you have an idea, start working on it as soon as possible. When you’re high on inspiration, you can get a week of work done in just a weekend.

Planning is guessing - Yes, long term planning is guessing. Make sure to have a vision, strategy, and short-term goals and improvise and change your plans according to market conditions, competitors, customers, etc.

Learning from mistakes is overrated - Writers claim that we don’t learn much from our mistakes and advise not to inhale the “Fail early and fail often” mantra. I’m afraid I have to disagree here. The “Fail early and fail often” is about experimentation, is about understanding that not all of your ideas would work. Try things to learn what does and doesn’t work for you, your product, and your company. Don’t repeat your mistakes, and learn and build on your successes.

No time is no excuse - You have a great idea but don’t have enough time to work on it - you have your priorities wrong. Instead of TV and video games, work on your vision.

Build half a product, not a half-assed product - I can’t agree more. It’s better to build half of what you want but do it right. Always prioritize and adapt.

Interruption is the enemy of productivity - Make sure to schedule alone time to work on the most critical tasks. Turn off notification and focus on the task at hand. I am scheduling

Meetings are toxic - Useless meetings are toxic. Schedule a meeting only if it’s absolutely required, invite must-haves only, and communicate the agenda before the meeting.

Go to sleep - You need to have a good rest to be productive, creative and to be able to make the right decisions. Make sure to go to bed on time and have a good 7-8 hours of sleep. Your body and mind would thank you for that, as well as your manager and co-workers :)

Say no by default - Use the power of no to get your priorities right. As Steve Jobs famously said

“[focus] means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying ‘no’ to 1,000 things.”

Hire great writers - Clear communication is one of the most critical skills for any position. And it’s a must-have skill for Product Managers.

“Rework” is a provocative collection of tips and ideas and not all of them would work for you. And still, the book forces you to challenge your beliefs in almost all business and product management aspects. If you haven’t read it, read it - challenge your assumptions.