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ReWork: Change the Way You Work Forever Paperback – 18 Mar 2010
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Amazon Exclusive: Seth Godin Reviews Rework
Seth Godin is the author of Linchpin, Tribes, The Dip, Purple Cow, All Marketers Are Liars, and Permission Marketing, as well as other international bestsellers. He is consistently one of the 25 most widely read bloggers in the English language. Read his exclusive Amazon guest review of Rework:
This book will make you uncomfortable.
Depending on what you do all day, it might make you extremely uncomfortable.
That's a very good thing, because you deserve it. We all do.
Jason and David have broken all the rules and won. Again and again they've demonstrated that the regular way isn't necessarily the right way. They just don't say it, they do it. And they do it better than just about anyone has any right to expect.
This book is short, fast, sharp and ready to make a difference. It takes no prisoners, spares no quarter, and gives you no place to hide, all at the same time.
There, my review is almost as long as the first chapter of the book. I can't imagine what possible excuse you can dream up for not buying this book for every single person you work with, right now.
Stop reading the review. Buy the book.--Seth Godin
"Every once in a while, a book comes out that changes just about everything. This is one of those books. Ignore it at your peril" (Seth Godin, New York Times bestselling author)
"37signals...doesn't just have customers, it has raving fans, and its leaders are web celebrities" (Guardian)
"There's no jargon or filler here just hundreds of brilliantly simple rules for success" (Chris Anderson, bestselling author of The Long Tail)
"Inspirational...REWORK is a minimalist manifesto that's profoundly practical. In a world where we all keep getting asked to do more with less, the authors show us how to do less and create more" (Scott Rosenberg, Co-Founder of Salon.com)
"Great if you're at a fledgling stage of business. It's a little controversial... but I find it brilliant just the same. A quick read too." (Sophie Cornish Stylist)
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The lifeblood of the book is, make it easy, make it fun and make money. Cut the ego and furnishings out of your business and deal with harsh reality. Hansson and Fried obviously hate waste including words, so the style of the book is short and snappy with real gems of advice on every page. They are very generous with their advice which makes them worth listening to. My only contention is the time we spend on our businesses. I absolutely believe if we’re unproductive, working long hours, hating life, and have no time for socialising or family, then that’s a major problem. But, I love my business and while I don’t need to do it for more than 8 hours per day, I love to do it for more than 8 hours per day. I’m probably more in the mould of Gary V. Reminds me of the quote “I’ll do today what you won’t, so I can do tomorrow what you can’t.”
Filled with excellent plain english advice, it's one of the best books out there for business productivity.
Not big on references, but the authors are credible because they built 37Signals, which created Basecamp and Ruby-on-Rails.
A damning critique of old school business types who favour endless meetings, reports, hierarchies and strategic plans.
If you like this also read: 'The 4 Hour Work Week' and 'Steal Like An Artist' - equally inspired.
There's also a lot of white space; but then again, I recently went through an information mapping course that says that this is a good thing, so who am I to judge? I would say that around 30% of the book is space of one kind or another, and that the average 'chapter' length is about 3 pages (I've not actually measured this, by the way.)
So, why the 5 stars? Because every word is well-crafted, well-chosen, and easy to both digest and engage with. Don't be like some others that I've come across and miss the point of the book; it gives the illusion of just being a collection of blog posts, but if you scratch beneath the surface and imagine applying their advice right now, you'll find that the questions it makes you ask of yourself and your organisation lead to rapid improvements.
Warning: It *will* change the way you think about work, and change the way you work as well, if you let it!
I liked it for two reasons. Firstly, it contains some insights that I thought but didn't have the confidence to say or try. After all, I don't have an MBA, so what could I know? For instance, under 'Hiring', the authors decry the worth of resumes and the usefulness of anything over six months of experience. Also, in 'Takedowns', I always suspected that learning from failure is overrated, planning is a synonym for guessing, and working yourself to death is dumb on so many levels.
Second, it filled my mind with a ton of fresh little experiments to try out in my own business. I especially found this to be the case under 'Competitors' ("decommoditize" or personalise your produce making copying impossible, and "pick a fight" with a big boy in order to contrast yourself with it and make a splash) and 'Promotion' (give away a little free stuff, build an audience not just a cliental, and, most brilliantly, "out-teach your competition" to establish your expertise and trustworthiness). For me, as a trainer, this last point sunk home.
There was an interesting and surprising emphasis on the power of writing through the book. For instance, they contrast optimal business writing with formal or academic writing (216). A criterion for hiring a quality employee, all else being equal, is the standard of their writing; it is a sign of clear thinking and empathy (222). When writing, sound like yourself, not some wannabe lawyer or corporate robot (263); this sort of everyday behaviour will create the right culture from the bottom up.
I would say that Rework is an ideal read for entrepreneurs (especially new starts), the self-employed and owners of SMEs. Those who work FOR someone rather than ON their own enterprise might find it a little shallow or all-too-easy sounding. Even then, the chapters on 'Productivity' and 'Damage Control' are applicable to any workplace. For those of us in the entrepreneurial (oops - 28) trenches it's a tonic; while not quite a tool box, it's certainly a box of tactics, tricks and twists on SOPs that make you want to experiment immediately. It may even shake up the thinking of some old campaigners out there.
Yes, it is thin on detail. Yes, some of the pics seem designed merely as space fillers. (A quirky but relevant diagram for each point would have served far better.) I found myself disappointed at the 'Resources' section, which was just a couple of lists about the authors' business and products. But as a call to action, experimentation and the overturn of many business clichés and customs, I found it highly valuable. I will be reading it and using it again. There's hardly a better recommendation than that.
This book actually solidified me leaving a previous role within a business that was doing the exact opposite of the points made in this book. Having been in the business for nearly two years, I saw the business falling into a lot of the traps stated in this book. Thankfully I was able to jump ship shortly before the business encountered huge financial issues.
If you're starting your own business, or are currently running one, this book is an excellent edition to any entrepreneurs library!