Title: Rework 
Authors: Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson
Publisher: Crown Business
Published: March 9 2010
Format: Hardcover, 288 pages – many of the pages are unused white space or illustrations
Disclaimer: Clicking on the book cover image or title link will take you to Amazon.ca through our affiliate link
Rework is an easy book to read and offers a fair bit of advice for businesses – whether or not you agree with the authors’ philosophy is up to you. That said, if you are familiar with the 37Signals blog and read them religiously, you do not need to buy this book. You don’t need to buy it if you would rather start reading the blog, either. However, you could buy it in eBook format and keep the highlights close at hand, because there are a few gems within its pages. Or, you can read the blog and keep notes in your favourite doc-on-the-go format.
Much of the advice given by the authors is common sense. Some of the advice given by the authors will not work for everyone. Almost all of the advice given by the authors will be of value to you. If you were to take their advice on keeping your startup expenses under control, do not buy their book. Take note of the table of contents and then go to their blog, search for the title terms and voila – you get the same advice for free – and sometimes with more depth than what is covered in the book.
Some of the authors’ views may be contrary to what you learned at the last business seminar you attended, such as their views on mistakes made in business, marketing, business plans and the competition, but I can see where their logic is in these points, and I tend to agree with them. Granted, it’s nice to envision where you would like your business to be in 5, 10 or 20 years, but you really need to focus on surviving the first year to get to those milestones.
In my opinion, Rework gets you thinking about the here and now in your business practice, because that is what’s important. Whether you buy the book or opt for the blog, you will find pertinent information and paths to further research, and as always, you are welcome to use what you need and ignore what you don’t. I read the actual book, and managed to go through many post-it markers for items I want to read more about, ponder more about, or check out the authors’ recommendations on books, white papers or research reports they’ve mentioned in Rework.
The value I see in this book is that it pares down all of the rhetoric and bombardment of information we get every day from all directions. It puts simple ideas and statements right in front of you – and if any of you are like me with a kazillion things stored in your head, Rework reminds you about all of the other things you forgot you knew or techniques you know but haven’t been using, because you let things get complicated – and oh, am I guilty of that. Sometimes the success is in the simplicity. Rework reminds you of this, and for that reason alone it is worth reading – whether you do so by buying the book or reading the blog.