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Publisher's Summary

From the founders of the trailblazing software company 37signals, here is a different kind of business book one that explores a new reality. Today, anyone can be in business. Tools that used to be out of reach are now easily accessible. Technology that cost thousands is now just a few bucks or even free. Stuff that was impossible just a few years ago is now simple.That means anyone can start a business. And you can do it without working miserable 80-hour weeks or depleting your life savings. You can start it on the side while your day job provides all the cash flow you need. Forget about business plans, meetings, office space - you don't need them.

With its straightforward language and easy-is-better approach, Rework is the perfect playbook for anyone who's ever dreamed of doing it on their own. Hardcore entrepreneurs, small-business owners, people stuck in day jobs who want to get out, and artists who don't want to starve anymore will all find valuable inspiration and guidance in these pages. It's time to rework work.

©2010 Jason Fried (P)2010 Random House

What listeners say about Rework

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Simple, Quick, Timely, Contrarian Advice

An excellent look at the work ethic of a very successful software company that does everything according to its own rules.

Best takeaways:
- Work is not just something you do 40 hours a week, it's work. Maybe it takes 10 hours, or maybe it takes 80 hours a week.
- If you're taking more than 40 hours a week to work, you're not working efficiently.
- Your employees are not 13 year olds... stop treating them like they are.
- Be very slow to hire.
- Growth doesn't equal success, sometimes growth is girth.
- Planning is guessing.
- If deciding between a few people for a position, hire the best writer - clear writing is a sign of clear thinking and an ability to communicate.

I entered the corporate structure very late in life, after owning my own business, and I've always thought the same way these guys apparently think.

My only complaint, is I would have liked some more real world examples and experiences, but my guess is they originally had more, but pulled stories out to make the book more brief and to the point.

They even say, at one point that in the final draft, they cut the book into half as many words as they had originally wrote.

Mike Chamberlain is an excellent narrator, and really added to the experience.

54 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Some good ideas. Some not.

I liked some of the thoughts in Rework. The idea that set company policies equal organizational scar tissue is spot on. Planning = guessing is an original thought. And some of the hiring practices ??? like not hiring "supermen" and working in the position you are filling before you fill it ??? make good sense.

Then again, there are a number of ideas in Rework that are just plain wrong. Smaller isn't always better. Yes, if you make software, small works because once you develop something, the growth comes from incremental sales. And your channel is virtually frictionless. But what if what you sell is time and experience? Then, the fewer bodies you have working, the less money you make. And what if you make pencil erasers? You still need to hire bodies to manufacture, transport and sell your product.

Another idea that's just wrong is the notion that it's better to write a blog and rely on free social media than to use traditional media like PR and advertising. This may be true of some products, and it's especially true of web-based products, but many businesses, like retail, food and manufactured goods, could not function without traditional media. It really depends upon what you are selling.

On top of all this, many of the "observations" that the authors make about business today ??? how meetings are toxic and sampling a product is a good practice, and saying ASAP is meaningless and counterproductive ??? are right out of a Dilbert cartoon. Without he humor. Business people, at least the smart ones, know these things already. There's no insight offered here. Yet the authors treat these subjects like they're the first people to ever think of them.

From the number of times the authors used the words "suck," "sh-t" and "f--k," and the brash, sanctimonious, we're-brilliant-and-your-a-moron tone of the text (and perhaps the narrator shaded that part a bit) the reader is left with a feeling that Fried and Heinemeir are nothing more than a couple of young guys who think they have the business world figured out. But they really don't.

For the record, I use 37Signals products. I think they are brilliant, clean and powerful. But just because a company does a few things right, that does not make them experts on everything.

51 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Like a one day motivational seminar.

Subtitle, "things you can say after you make a bazillion dollars".

36 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

A little too preachy for my taste

I enjoy 37 Signals' SVN blog, and there is no doubt they've had a tremendous amount of success doing what they do. However, as a casual reader of their blog, Rework appears to be a rehashing of previous points made via SVN, and comes off as a little too preachy for my taste. Still there are some nuggets in here to enjoy, and it's a very short listen.

If you have spare credits I wouldn't hesitate to download this book, but in my opinion there are many more credit-worthy titles to choose from.

26 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

I wish more books were like this.

This book has a lot of good and useful information. Much of the info is actionable. I wish more books were like this, it was short and to the point and didn't spend hours building up to one small idea. I highly recommend this book for both new ideas and as a refresher for forgotten knowledge.

23 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Great... but not for everyone

For me personally, I loved the audio book. Very simple, very direct and full of little pieces of wisdom. However, it is quite industry specific. Some of the principles he speaks about are universal but most are very specific to small businesses and starting businesses particularly in the technology field. That is where I am so I found the book to be exactly what I wanted to hear. I listened to it 3 times over a 2 week period. Again, not for everyone but if you are running a small business, want to start a small business or just want to turn a hobby into some income, he gives great tips to do it. Very practical and to the point.

19 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Good for SOME Businesses

This is a good for small to medium business in some markets, but in others it is quite inappropriate in parts.

If you want to read this, what you should consider is that the authors are writing about their experience, and their experience is providing online services. That means no stock issues, ability to automatically supply at any time etc etc.

There are also a few parts that when you have been in business a while, you will see the obvious contradictions. My favourite was that you have to speak your mind and say if something is no good, but an earlier comment was avoid office politics at all costs. Now there's a contradiction. Telling someone there project is to be canned means that egos will be bruised and you will have to enter into office politics or they will quickly leave!

Another small company centric point was, trying out potential employees by giving them a short term contract. If you work in a large company, the job is often not contractable, so there is no way you could do this.

As I say, and interesting read, but you need to consider who the authors are, and where their experience in business comes from.

17 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Inspiring and fun

This book is so funny and well read by Mike Chamberlain. He understands to get the direct language from the book out in the meaning it was meant to be. The book itself is very inspiring and brings up lots of issues that new start-ups or stressed-out employees face and could help them to focus and get their jobs done without the stress involved.

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Thought provoking, ever after Getting Real

Even though I read Getting Real, a previous book by David and Jason, some 4 times, Rework is definitely thought provoking and inspiring. I do not agree on all topics, and some of them apply only to software industry, but the time definitely has come to "rework work". Or at least re-think what is possible with modern technology, and why people would even care about some mainstream ideas and ways of doing business originating in 18th century.

What is especially valuable is that this book is written from personal experience and perspective. If you ever thought of starting a company, Rework will be useful for you.

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

37 Signals

I'm a huge fan of 37 Signals. Rework is ok, but I prefer to listen to their pod casts. The book delves a bit more in depth than the free audio clips available, but I prefer the casual tone of the podcasts.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Thomas
  • 09-25-10

Think for yourself

This book does have some good things to say about starting with a new business but (and this is just my opinion) it strikes me like a lot of books of this type as lacking a bit in substance and also as prescribing set approaches to situations, when in fact the best thing to do is to weigh each up as you see them.

For example, in this book they say start small and build from a small base, don't give up the day job straight away and generally take it steady in the beginning. This may be the best strategy in some situations, but not necessarily in all situations.

There are a bunch of other books out there which tell you to always try to think big, and take risks, make the leap etc... which may be the right thing to do in your situation, or it may not. What I'm trying to say is that though the book IS useful and good food for thought, it basically represents one company's way of doing things, not a universal panacea. The real skill is to adapt your strategy to the circumstance.

There's also the business of backing both sides in a couple of cases. For example, they suggest enforce a strict 'no-distractions' atmosphere at work and then later on say that in fact banning people from using facebook at work is bad because people actually need distractions.

Also didn't like the swearing towards the end, but that's just a personal thing. As I say it's got some interesting stuff but nothing groundbreaking or particularly inspirational. Think and Grow Rich or the 48 Laws of Power it ain't...

11 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Charlie
  • 03-07-21

To the point and thought provoking

The narration was good, and I enjoyed the general 'against the tide' vibe of the whole book. Plus if you listen on faster speed, it could be done in a nice walk in the Spring sunshine!

Only possible issue for some is a couple of instances of f bombs being dropped.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Mr D R Heath
  • 06-06-19

Lots of good advice, but little hard evidence

There is lots of good advice that comes from the creators of 37 Signals, but it's given in a way that assumes it is universally applicable and does not give much evidence (other than anecdote) to support this position.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Jack
  • 03-10-22

Bland

When I heard the last part of this book I couldn’t help but feel a bit ‘is that it?’ Kind of feeling.
No doubt the success of the author, however, in my opinion, the content of the book was just bland. I prefer books that go deep on certain areas, inject humour or a bit of story telling and lots of real life examples of the points the author is making. The only emotion I felt while listening was a slight bit of positivity at the start (about starting a business).

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Ope
  • 02-10-22

Energising and straight to the point

I liked the no nonsense approach. Easy and enouraging read for those who need clarity.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Amanda Harper
  • 12-19-21

Really just an opinion piece

Nothing new here. Just someone's opinions, with no profound insight or research done. Another "business book".

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mr
  • 07-18-21

Get up and go... now

Well worth a listen and the short length isn't a negative. They cover a broad range of business topic and point out where they don't make sense and how they won't help you build your business. Not all new ideas, but still good to hear it again.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Aman
  • 06-05-21

Mind blowing and solution oriented

I am thankful to the writers of this book. It has changed my perspective on business. Whoever wants to open the windows of their mind must read this book highly recommended 👏👏👏.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Steve
  • 03-11-21

Good business advice

Would recommend this to anyone looking to start a sustainable business that wants sound smart advice.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-10-21

Mixed

30% arrogant
30% obvious
20% gold
The rest is pretty mixed.
It pushed their ‘this is the only way’ to build a business, which at times wasn’t relevant, and came across as arrogant. There are some nuggets of gold though, and what I liked is that it’s a short business book, rather than the normal 6+ hours of padding that you’d usually find.
Give it a go. There’s some real gems within the book, and the fact that it’s only a couple of hours long, means it won’t take too long to find them.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Michael
  • 10-06-15

Some good tips between the author’s self commendations

This book has a lot of trite advice.

Many examples are given for what worked for the author and it is implied that this makes their guidelines right for everyone.

There are a lot of good tips and pointers, especially towards the end of the book and it is a worthwhile read if you can get over the author’s self admiration.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • heide
  • 03-17-15

great insights, but didn't like voice.

must read.. really enjoyed it. very useful. why is there a minimum on the words I write

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Tom Maitland
  • 09-06-20

A long whinge

There’s a lot of good ideas in this book, but they’re poorly presented and justified. It comes out as a long, ramble-y whinge about how people do things in business.

It would be nice to evaluate some of the ideas in more detail, where do they work, where don’t they. Anecdotes offered are poorly substantiated and it would be awesome to hear how Basecamp works with more of these in the real world.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Matthew
  • 02-07-15

Alternate thinking. Wisdom you will use!

Fantastic text. I was initially after a lengthier text but heard such great reviews about this book.
So many pause and rewind sections.
Very different thought processes. Many counter cultural business wisdom. Really made me question my methodologies.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Steve
  • 04-02-22

The best book in a while, short and direct.

Sometomes we judge books by their lenght before buying. This one is the exceptional one.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jayne Mason
  • 03-11-21

Inspiration for Today!

Love this book. Full of Practical information and business wisdom. Thank you for sharing. With Kindness Jayne Mason

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Sonia Molina
  • 12-20-20

Fantastic! Worth reading

New simple and powerful ideas to deal with businesses and life. So thankful with the creators of this book

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • imjustshane
  • 11-27-19

Amazing content, easy to listen to.

So many business books have great content but the audio book is such a struggle to listen to.

Rework is the unicorn of books with a ear and concise message, that is filled with practical advice all Pa kaged up in an easy to listen to audio book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Felise
  • 08-26-19

good read

nice and short, something to keep re reading. find this book very helpful. do recommend

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-06-19

Awesome book

Awesome book for a new business owner like me. The ideas really define the conventional wisdom. Applying these ideas really make a big impression on my partners and others. Definitely recommended