Posted April 1, 2012 in Career Management, What We're Reading

front coverBy: Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson

Reviewed by: Glain Roberts-McCabe

The Premise: Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson are the co-founders of 37 Signals, a software company that provides a variety of products used by large and small enterprises around the world. Through a series of short chapters (average 1.5 pages), they share their perspectives on what the “new reality” of work is by debunking many long standing assumptions. With chapter titles like – Ignore the real world; Planning is guessing; Learning from mistakes is overrated – you don’t have to dive too far into this book to get a sense of what’s in store. The chapters are short and the co-authors share some of their hands on experience and those of other successful business leaders to make their points. It’s a quick read with a number of practical strategies and questions that make you think.

The Bottom Line: I have a very short attention span, so for that point alone REWORK is a great read. The short chapters do let you dive in and dive out and they’ve written the titles in a way that hooks your interest (eg: Meetings are toxic). That being said, was there anything really revolutionary in here from my perspective? Not really. But then I’ve spent most of my career working in very entrepreneurial organizations that have to move at the speed of “what have you done for me lately?” For people thinking about starting their own “gig”, there are some great myth-busters around what it takes to get a company off the ground that make it worth a read. For leaders living within the confines of larger organizations that would like to inject a more “entrepreneurial” approach, there are definitely chapters that will give you some ideas and potentially help you build that type of mindset. Overall though, this is one of those books that, for me, fell into the interesting/quick read category but didn’t really offer any major revolutionary thinking despite Seth Godin’s “ignore this book at your own peril” quote on the cover. Maybe the challenge here is that we all know this stuff… we’re just not doing anything about it.

Roundtable Rating: An easy read that will feed your entrepreneurial juices and challenge your views on the work status-quo.

Check out the book and learn more about 37Signals here.

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