My thoughts on Rework by 37Signals


Sometimes just being reminded about what you already know is the best advice you can receive.

For the first time in two years of working on startups I took over a full week off this past week as I got married and went away on my honeymoon. While I wasn't doing any coding or checking in very often on startup life, I couldn't pull myself away completely, and I decided to take in 37Signals' new book, Rework, as a little light beach reading. I always recommend taking vacation and time off every once in awhile to help regather your focus and motivation for the grind that is startup life, and it turns out that Rework was a great companion read in support of that goal.

I really enjoyed reading Rework despite learning very little "new" information from it. Generally I read books to learn something completely new that I wasn't familiar with before. Rework is a bunch of simplified and restated agile startup lore that's prevalent on VC and entrepreneur blogs, hacker news, and greater startup-related internet. But it was the simplicity, verbalization, and centralization of all the restatement that really made it great. I have yet to read a business book that felt like it was reminding me of everything that I knew deep down and truly believed in. 

Rework starts off a little bit broad, which is probably a good thing to attract any non-startup-world based reader. However it quickly gets down to the meat and provides nearly 100 1-2 page essays which really hammer home valuable lessons on specific topics. I particularly agreed with the chapters on Progress, Productivity, and Hiring. While I'm a vocal advocator for launching early, iterating quickly, and staying cheap and lean for as long as possible, it's easy to stray from some of these ideas along the long road of building a startup. I'll go back to Rework every once in awhile to set me straight when I feel myself veering off the path. 

The book doesn't take that long to read, and the 1-2 page essay format makes for plenty of breaking points, so I strongly recommend throwing it on your e-reader or into your backpack and taking in an essay or two whenever you have a few moments. I emerged from each chapter feeling energized and eager to get back to work on my startup and my product – to get back to doing things the right way.