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Home » Business Library

Book Review: Rework

I’ve mentioned more than once on this blog that sometimes 5 minutes after I’ve come across something I’ve never heard of before,  I come across exactly the same thing on someone else’s blog.

This is called synchronicity. Which, according to Wikipedia is the experience of two or more events that are apparently causally unrelated occurring together in a meaningful manner. To count as synchronicity, the events should be unlikely to occur together by chance.

One such example is that a couple of months ago I was reading Maren Kate’s blog Escaping the 9 to 5 about the products she recommends.  Maren was talking about 37 Signal’s product Basecamp.  Now, I think I must be in the minority, but I’d never heard of 37 Signals. Or Basecamp. But a few clicks later and I discover that Basecamp is a project management and task management software for collaboration with your teams or your clients. It has over 3,000,000 users worldwide, yet, 37Signals employs less than 20 people worldwide and makes millions of $$$ annually.

So when I heard of ReWork: Change the Way You Work Forever by the co-founders of 37 Signals I bought it. And was very impressed!

So today when I finally got round to writing this post on Re-work,  I read an interview with Jason Fried co founder of, you guessed it 37 Signals,  in Inc Magazine. Not 10 minutes later I was on Tim Ferriss’ blog where in the latest edition of Random with Kevin Rose. Kevin Rose gives his book recommendation of Rework! So, with such synchronicity at play this post  just has to be written!

So, given that 37 Signals is a highly profitable company operating globally and employing only 20 people (who, incidentally don’t work in the same office) they authors clearly have a lot to share.

In fact, Tim Ferriss describes this book as the Elements of Style for building profitable businesses in a web-savvy world.

Each chapter is 2-5 pages long and delivers their tactics and principles simply and  ‘fat-free’, without fluff. Just like 37Signals’ business models they give tremendous insight, but more importantly they work.

Here’s some of the insights:

Drug Dealers Get it Right

Drug dealers are astute business people. They know their product is so good that they’re willing to give a little away for free upfront.  They know you’ll be back for more with money.

Emulate drug dealers. Make your products so good, so addictive, so “can’t miss” that giving customers a small free taste makes them come back with cash in hand.

They will force you to make something about your product bite-size. You want an easily digestible introduction to what you sell. This gives people a way to try it without investing any money or a lot of time.

Bakeries, restaurants and ice cream shops have done this successfully for years. Car dealers let you test – drive cars before buying them. Software firms are also getting on board, with free trials or limited use versions. How many other industries could benefit from the drug dealer model?

Launch Now

When is your product or service finished? When should you put it on the market? When is it safe to let people have it? Probably a lot sooner than you’re comfortable with. Once your product does what it needs to do, get it out there.

Just because you’ve still got a list of things to do doesn’t mean it’s not done. Don’t hold everything up to a few leftovers. You can do them later.

You can read an excerpt from Rework Here

Quite simply this is an excellent book which can be read in a couple of evenings. Go check it out. ReWork: Change the Way You Work Forever