Rework (See all Success Books)
The book is good, and the company is well run and has some amazing products, but I liked Get Real, which for programmers (I am not one) and it had a way of using programming as a metaphor for business. Rework is good, and full of business tips, but lacks the depth. It is a book of pointers, and it has some very good points, but it lacks the overall vision. I am a big fan of the other book, Get Real, by 37 signals, and this book is in the same vein, and has some good points, but I liked Get Real more, and actually think it is the better business book.
One thing that bothered me about Rework, is that a company who does so well at clean and simple, managed to fill a book with bad pictures that really add nothing. The actual content is well done, but probably fills a third of the book, the rest is white page or the pictures apparently made in sharpie, their favorite pen. It could have been a great simple book, and it tries but it is not as well thought out and executed as their software.
There is no such thing as the real world, there is no ideal model. Forget perfect, forget accepted, do what works. Planning is guessing, the longer the timeline, the more useless, estimates are always wrong.
Failure happens, but success teaches you what works. I truly do not learning any thing from what things work well, but I learn enormous amounts watching others and myself fail. Mistakes are just express trains to the answer.
Growing for no reason is ridiculous. Work smart, but have a life. Make a dent in the universe, do something that matters, make stand, believe in it and live it. Your products should be what you need. Make what matters to you, what you need, designing for others is guessing, and as mentioned before, guessing is useless.
ideas are just ideas, and are not valuable. action is valuable, doing something is valuable. This has been the hardest lesson to learn. Ideas are cheap. Execution is all that matters.
No time means you have no plan. It means you have no priorities, no thoughts on what is valuable to your business and your life.
Avoid outside money, the costs are too high, you need less than you think, you are making a business, not a start up.
Keep it simple and lean. Constraints are good, they force creativity. Do the stuff you have to do for your product, ignore details, and get it out there, launch quickly and then respond, decisions and actions are progress, focus on what won't change, don't follow fashion.
Practice, hard work, pays off.
Sell your byproducts. aka the book. I think they are brilliant at finding solutions and getting down to what works, and they always remember, it is a business.
Interruption is the enemy of productivity/ meetings are useless. Focus focus focus.
Go for quick wins, make quick tiny decisions. Make things happen, now.
Don't be a same as, or copy, make a stand, make sure your product isn't a commodity even when it is (zappos), make it you. Make your product what it needs to be, under do, make it simple, robust, and fast.
Don't outspend your competition, out teach them, don't let everyone define you, you define you, thinks chefs, they all cook with the same ingredients, but a select few can add their personality to make it more. people can read fake and they respond to real. Everyone and every part of a business is marketing, make the business always reflect what you stand for
Hire when it hurts, and hire the person, the attitude, not the background, not the resume. I live this one. Skills can be taught, but attitudes are who they are.
Decisions are temporary. By far my favorite.