Rework Book Summary

I recently finished the excellent book Rework by the guys at 37 Signals. If you’ve read Getting Real, most of this is old hat. However, if you are interested to see how their product development principals are applied to running a business. Check it out. Here’s my outline.

Chapter 1 - First

The New Reality

Chapter 2 - Takedowns

Ignore the real world

Learning from mistakes is overrated

Planning is guessing

Why grow?


Enough with “entrepreneurs”

Chapter 3 - Go

Make a dent in the universe

Scratch your own itch

Start making something

No time is on excuse

Draw a line in the sand

Mission statement impossible

Outside money is Plan Z

You don’t need as much as you think

Start a business, not a startup

Building to flip is building to flop

Less mass

Chapter 4 - Progress

Embrace Constraints

Build half a product, not a half-assed product

Start at the epicenter

Ignore the details early on

Making the call is making progress

Be a curator

Throw less at the problem

Focus on what won’t change

Tone is in your fingers

Sell your by-products

Launch now

Chapter 5 - Productivity

Illusions of agreement

Reasons to Quit

Interruption is the enemy of productivity

Meetings are toxic

Good enough is fine

Quick wins

Don’t be a hero

Go to sleep

Your estimates suck

Long lists don’t get done

Make tiny decisions

Chapter 6 - Competitors

Don’t copy

Decommoditize your product

Pick a fight

Underdo your competition

Who cares what they are doing?

Chapter 7 - Evolution

Say no by default

Let your customers outgrow you

Enthusiasm != Priority

Be at home good

Don’t write it down

Chapter 8 - Promotion

Welcome Obscurity

Build an audience

Don’t outspend / out teach

Emulate Chefs

Go behind the scenes

No one likes plastic flowers

Press releases are spam

Fuhgettabout the Wall Street Journal

Emulate Drug Dealers

Marketing is not a department

The myth of the overnight sensation

Chapter 9 - Hiring

DIY First

Hire when it hurts

Pass on great people

Strangers at a cocktail party

Resumes are ridiculous

Years of irrelevance

GPAs don’t matter

Everybody works

Hire managers of one

Hire great writers

The best are everywhere

Test drive employees

Chapter 10 - Damage Control

Own Bad News

Speed changes everything

Know how to say you are sorry

Put everyone on the front lines

Take a deep breath

Chapter 11 - Culture

You can’t create culture

Decisions are temporary

Skip the rockstars

They’re not 13

Send people home at 5

Don’t scar on the first cut

Sound like you

4 Letter Words

ASAP is poison

Chapter 12 - Conclusion

Inspiration is perishable