[Book Notes] Rework

A tech company has no office, no meetings, and focuses on simplification instead of expansion. 37signals is a small tech company that has become hugely successful with its web app products. The founders share how they ran their business in a collection of essays, Rework.

This book contains nuggets of wisdom about productivity and running a business. I love how their writing cuts to the chase and helps me focus on essentials.

Five Things I Took Away From the Book

Here are some quotes from the book that struck a chord with me, followed by my own interpretation. This will also help set your course straight in your business and projects.

Decisions are progress.

Every decision you make is a step toward progress. Instead of putting off a decision or meeting for tomorrow, make the decision now. Assign the task to a specific individual or team. Stop ambiguity. It’s easier to get on the course and move on based on the decisions you’ve already made.

Start at the epicenter, and say no to everything else

Relentlessly remove what’s unnecessary. Focus on the core feature of your product and make it work really well. Being simple and honest requires a high level of integrity and discipline. Stick to it.

It’s ok to quit

Don’t let your inflated ego take over you and work on something that waste your time. If you decided to do something and it’s taking a lot longer than your target time frame, call it a quit and save your time for doing something more useful. If you only see a little return on the investment, walk away.

Scratch your own itch

Solving your own problem is the first step. The next step is to make your own solution so valuable that YOU want to keep using it. Focus on usefulness, not your ego. I’ve developed some poor products in the past. I’d give myself A+ on the effort, but looking back now I realize that they weren’t very useful. My next action step is to create something that makes ME want to come back and use for years. Usually, you are your worst critic. Create a compelling product or offer a service that gets even your worst critic to approve.

Let your customer outgrow your product

If your product features no longer serve your customers’ needs, let them outgrow your product and find another solution that is a better suit for them. Don’t change your product for a customer whose needs are changing. There is a ton of new customers out there with needs that match your product offering. Don’t be clingy in a relationship.

How would you apply these concepts to your daily life?

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