37signals’ new book Rework is a fast, inspiring read for anyone who’s thought about starting a business but froze at the idea of quitting their job, getting investing, and working 24-hour days.
As they do every day at their blog, in Rework the Signals break down their minimalist philosophy into a series of essays written in uncompromising language. Expect a table of contents full of sections entitled things like “Learning from mistakes is overrated,” “Planning is guessing,” “Outside money is plan Z,” “Throw less at the problem,” “Skip the rock stars,” and “Meetings are toxic.” While it’s billed as a business book, at its core Rework is a get-up-off-your-ass, stop-talking-and-start-doing book–a productivity book that uses 37signals as its main case study.
People who follow 37signals online know that they are opinionated and contrarian–sometimes to the point of abrasive. At least one person thinks their small business philosophy is downright dangerous. Personally I give 37signals credit for having a strong point of view, a well-executed shtick, and for having shipped some fantastic software products. (At Lifehacker we lived in Campfire.) My advice? Take the book with a grain of salt. After reading it you don’t have to cancel every meeting you have at your company. But, if you shorten a few, you’ve gotten something out of it.
To get a taste of how the book reads, download this PDF excerpt with essays on why workaholism, business plans, and meetings don’t work. The book is available today in bookstores and on Amazon.