“Anyone who runs a business that’s sustainable and profitable, whether it’s a big or small, should be proud.” ~~ Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson (Book: Rework)
I got this one because I saw it on some ‘must read’ book lists. I don’t think there’s any book that’s a must read. What one reads is a personal choice.
But of course, this review isn’t a debate on the nonsense of ‘must read books’. I saw the book in the library and thought I should check it out.
Lesson 1: Find Out Why You Do What You Do.
It’s one of the most common wisdom online. You’d find it in almost all the self-help articles online or in such books.
Before starting you should know your reasons for starting your business. Those reason(s) would help you stay on the right path in the long run.
“As you get going, keep in mind why you’re doing what you’re doing. Great businesses have a point of view, not just a product or service.” ~~ Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson (Book: Rework)
Also, don’t waste time finding people to validate your ideas. If you believe in your idea, then start working on your project.
Don’t ask anyone if your idea has potential to survive and waste your time listening to their reasons why it would not.
Someone else opinion doesn’t matter. What matters is what you think and if you’re ready to put your idea into practice and see how things would turn out.
Lesson 2: Don’t Work on too Many Projects at the same Time.
When you start putting an idea to work, quite often you end up having new & better looking ideas.
No matter how good you think your next business idea is, stop yourself from running after it right away.
Just because it’s good, doesn’t mean it’d work or be profitable or that you should divide your focus and energy on it right away.
Instead, of scattering your energy & focus working on different projects, focus your attention and energy working on one business that’s working.
You can always explore other great ideas later, when you’ve made the first one successful & profitable.
Lesson 3: Don’t Make Long-Term Plans or Plans.
Don’t get lost in the idea of making a one long-term plan that would decide how you’d approach your business.
Instead of making long-term inflexible plans, make short-term flexible plans that allow you to change course if needed.
Plans that allow you more flexibility to explore new opportunities that would help grow your business.
As per the authors planning is “guessing” and guesses are rarely accurate. So why bother wasting time on preparing long-term plans that you’d have to change. Plan either as you go or for a week.
“Unless you’re a fortune-teller, long-term business planning is a fantasy. Why don’t we just call plans what they really are: guesses.” ~~ Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson (Book: Rework)
Lesson 4: Don’t Over-Idolize ‘Fail Often Fail Fast’.
I first heard this phrase while listening to Steve Jobs’ popular speech.
Ever since this phrase is haunting me like that ad that follows you around like an ugly ghost.
I’m sure it’s haunting you as well if you spend a lot of your time online reading blogs. These days I don’t waste time like that.
It’s like everyone’s determined to fail. At least they say so. I’m not sure if people really want to fail, not if they can help not failing. There’s always a world of difference between what people say and what they do.
No one seems to be questioning this sentence because someone famous said it. Most writers & bloggers are going around preaching it to an extent that it’s getting annoying.
You learn from failure when you can pinpoint what went wrong. If you have no idea ‘what went wrong’ you might repeat the same mistake next time. That means you learned nothing and it’d cost you, your precious time and energy.
But if you know what you did right, you could always replicate that success.
“People advice ‘Fail early and fail often’ with so much failure in the air, you can’t help but breathe it in. Don’t inhale. Don’t get fooled by the stats. Other people’s failures are just that: other people’s failure.” ~~ Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson (Book: Rework)
Lesson 5: Be Happy About ‘Not Being Known’ for Your Work (Yet).
When you’re new don’t waste your time thinking ‘no one knows you’. Not being famous could work to your advantage.
It means every change you make to your business is not constantly under public scrutiny.
You can experiment and fail, or completely reinvent your business or end up making a huge mistake and take your time correcting it while no one is paying you attention.
Once you’re known every move you’ll make in your business, someone will have something to say about it.
You’ll also become less experimental, fearful of audience or public reaction. So obscurity isn’t so terrible, in the beginning at least.
Lesson 6: Wisest Decision sometimes is to Quit.
Another message that’s handed over from one person to another these days is: be persistent in what you’re doing.
That’s fine. But it’s also wise to know when is the right time to quit a business that’s not working out.
Make a realistic evaluation, know when to quit and quit. So you won’t expend your time and energy trying to make success of a business that’s not worth saving.
“People automatically associate quitting with failure, but sometimes that’s exactly what you should do. If you already spend too much time on something that wasn’t worth it, walk away. You can’t get that time back. The worst thing you can do now is waste even more time.” ~~ Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson (Book: Rework)
Some posts should have been merged together instead of scattering them around.
The message of the book can be summarized in a couple of sentences, which is good and bad, depending on your perspective:
Most of the points are common sense and it’s not a minus point (or maybe it is to an extent).
The question is how many of us use that ‘common sense’ when needed the most. So you could read the book to remind yourself.
1: This is one such book you can finish in a day and remember what you learned from it. It’s for those of you who like to boast about reading ‘one book a day’ for whatever reasons known to you only.
2: It’s written in entertaining manner and ‘Rework’ also gives you some new ideas to try on your business.
3: Since the content is divided in short-sections — a chapter is probably no more than 300-500 words long — it’s easy to read and keeps your attention.
“Use whatever you’ve got already or can afford cheaply. Then go. It’s not the gear that matters. It’s playing what you’ve got as well as you can. Your tone is in your fingers.” ~~ Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson (Book: Rework)
Hit or Miss: Hit!
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