Rework. The new business book from 37signals.

By August 21, 2013Books
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After reading quite an amazing book called Rework from the authors Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, I decided to collect some useful quotes from the book.

Here are some interesting quotes:

Another common misconception: You need to learn from your mistakes. What do you really learn from mistakes? You might learn what not to do again, but how valuable is that? You still don’t know what you should do next.

Unless you’re a fortune-teller, long-term business planning is a fantasy. […] When you turn guesses into plans, you enter a danger zone. Plans let the past drive the future. They put blinders on you. “This is where we’re going because, well, that’s where we said we were going.”

Have you ever noticed that while small businesses wish they were bigger, big businesses dream about being more agile and flexible?

If all you do is work, you’re unlikely to have sound judgments. Your values and decision making wind up skewed. You stop being able to decide what’s worth extra effort and what’s not. And you wind up just plain tired. No one makes sharp decisions when tired.

The easiest, most straightforward way to create a great product or service is to make something you want to use.

Having the idea for eBay has nothing to do with actually creating eBay. What you do is what matters, not what you think or say or plan.

A business without a path to profit isn’t a business, it’s a hobby.

They follow the latest trends and technology. That’s a fool’s path.

When is your product or service finished? When should you put it out on the market? When is it safe to let people have it? Probably a lot sooner than you’re comfortable with.

If you had to launch your business in two weeks, what would you cut out? Stop imagining what’s going to work. Find out for real.

Why are you doing this?
What problem are you solving?
Is this actually useful?
Are you adding value?
Value is about balance.
Is there an easier way?

Problems are usually pretty simple. We just imagine that they require hard solutions. What could you be doing instead?

Long stretches of alone time are when you’re most productive.

Also, when you do collaborate, try to use passive communication tools, like e-mail, that don’t require an instant reply, instead of interruptive ones, like phone calls and face-to-face meetings.

The worst interruptions of all are meetings.

Find a judo solution, one that delivers maximum efficiency with minimum effort.

When good enough gets the job done, go for it. It’s way better than wasting resources or, even worse, doing nothing because you can’t afford the complex solution.

If you already spent too much time on something that wasn’t worth it, walk away. You can’t get that time back. The worst thing you can do now is waste even more time.

Break the big thing into smaller things. The smaller it is, the easier it is to estimate. Attainable goals like that are the best ones to have.

Focus on yourself instead. What’s going on in here is way more important than what’s going on out there. When you spend time worrying about someone else, you can’t spend that time improving yourself.

You become reactionary instead of visionary. Their profits and costs are theirs. Yours are yours.

Don’t be a jerk about saying no, though. Just be honest. If you’re not willing to yield to a customer request, be polite and explain why. People are surprisingly understanding when you take the time to explain your point of view.

Scaring away new customers is worse than losing old customers.

And there are always more people who are not using your product than people who are.

And keep in mind that once you do get bigger and more popular, you’re inevitably going to take fewer risks.

All companies have customers. Lucky companies have fans. But the most fortunate companies have audiences. […] Instead of going out to reach people, you want people to come to you. An audience returns often–on its own–to see what you have to say. […] When you build an audience, you don’t have to buy people’s attention–they give it to you. This is a huge advantage. So build an audience. Speak, write, blog, tweet, make videos–whatever. Share information that’s valuable. […] Teach and you’ll form a bond you just don’t get from traditional marketing tactics. […] So emulate famous chefs. They cook, so they write cookbooks. What do you do? What are your “recipes”? What’s your “cookbook”? What can you tell the world about how you operate that’s informative, educational, and promotional? This book is our cookbook. What’s yours?

How many other industries could benefit from the drug-dealer model? Don’t be afraid to give a little away for free–as long as you’ve got something else to sell.

Never hire anyone to do a job until you’ve tried to do it yourself first. That way, you’ll understand the nature of the work. […] You’ll also be a much better manager, because you’ll be supervising people who are doing a job you’ve done before.

Writing is making a comeback all over our society.

Customers are so used to canned answers, you can really differentiate yourself by answering thoughtfully and showing that you’re listening. Listening to customers is the best way to get in tune with a product’s strengths and weaknesses.

People are creatures of habit. That’s why they react to change in such a negative way. They’re used to using something in a certain way and any change upsets the natural order of things. So they push back. They complain.

Don’t make up problems you don’t have yet. It’s not a problem until it’s a real problem. Most of the things you worry about never happen anyway. If circumstances change, your decisions can change. Decisions are temporary.

But there’s a ton of untapped potential trapped under lame policies, poor direction, and stifling bureaucracies. Cut the crap and you’ll find that people are waiting to do great work. They just need to be given the chance.

When everything constantly needs approval, you create a culture of nonthinkers. You create a boss-versus-worker relationship that screams, “I don’t trust you.”

Stay away from buzzwords when normal words will do just fine. Don’t talk about “monetization” or being “transparent;” talk about making money and being honest.

Easy. Easy is a word that’s used to describe other people’s jobs. “That should be easy for you to do, right?” But notice how rarely people describe their own tasks as easy.

That’s all folks today. I hope I encouraged you to read and buy this amazing book!

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