Rework Book

Rework is a book for entrepreneurs by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson. A noticeable difference between startup businesses and established corporations is the way each type of organization gets things done.

Every organization should have meetings with a purpose (and hopefully provide decisive resolution), plan as needed (but not try to plan more than necessary), follow processes (which provide actual value), and constantly improve and be more efficient. Of course, this is easy to say and hard to execute (and under-appreciated when it is executed well).

However, it is hard to codify what the focus should be, why something should be done (or not done), and how to get something done. Large corporations have established processes and senior people who help guide others. Startups do not. Unlike large corporations, small businesses do not have many resources. There must be a maniacal focus on doing things that matter and getting things done.

Rework is collection of values and beliefs of an effective entrepreneur. Each chapter is a concise gem of knowledge. I would love to quote the entire book, but here are some select quotes which I found fun:


Workaholics aren’t heroes. They don’t save the day, they just use it up. The real hero is already home because she figured out a faster way to get things done.

-- Chapter 2 - Takedowns

One of the lessons I have learned (and sometimes re-learn) is to automate as much as possible. If you always run through a series of actions, automate them. If you have to install a piece of software on a virtual machine to demo to stakeholders every week, automate the process. If you always run through a series of steps to issue a pull request, automate it. And don't just automate it. Make it fast.

Rhythm of Making Choices

You want to get into the rhythm of making choices. When you get in that flow of making decision after decision, you build momentum and boost morale. Decisions are progress. Each one you make is a brick in your foundation. You can’t build on top of “We’ll decide later,” but you can build on top of “Done.”

-- Chapter 4 - Progress

You also can't build on top of decisions that get undone. One of the hardest things to do is to say "no" and actually leave a great sounding feature intentionally on the cutting floor.

Hire Great Writers

That’s because being a good writer is about more than writing. Clear writing is a sign of clear thinking. Great writers know how to communicate. They make things easy to understand. They can put themselves in someone else’s shoes. They know what to omit. And those are qualities you want in any candidate.

-- Chapter 9 - Hiring

Impactful and concise writing is something I wish every developer would have.

I highly recommend reading the book to get an understanding of what is valuable for starting and running a profitable business.