Over 3 years ago, my good friend Tendayi Viki recommend the book REWORK to me by the guys who make Basecamp (awesome Project Management App).
REWORK is advice on building, running, and growing (or not growing) a business, based on the experiences of Jason Fried and David Heiner Hansson (founders of Basecamp). The key insights I took from the book have had a dramatic impact on the way I approach work, especially around the planning fallacy, mass and agility and removing constraints.
Below Are The Quotes That I Found Helpful From The Book - Enjoy!:
CHAPTER – TAKEDOWNS
Learning from mistakes is overrated. Other people’s failures are just that: other people’s failures.
Planning is guessing: Give up the guesswork. Decide what you’re going to do this week, not this year. Figure out the next most important thing and do that.
Why grow? Ramping up doesn’t have to be your goal. Anyone who runs a business that’s sustainable and profitable, whether it’s big or small, should be proud.
Workaholism – The real hero is already at home because she figured out a faster way to get things done.
Enough with “Entrepreneurs” – They are just doing what they love on their own terms and getting paid for it.
Make a dent in the universe – To do great work, you need to feel that you’re making a difference. If you’re going to do something, do something that matters.
Scratch Your Own Itch – The easiest, most straightforward way to create a great product or service is to make something you want to use.
Start Making Something – What you do is what matters, not what you think or say or plan.
Draw a line in the sand – 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. You have to believe in something. You need to have a backbone. You need to know what you’re willing to fight for. And then you need to show the world…..That’s life. For everyone who loves you, there will be others who hate you.
When you don’t know what you believe, everything becomes an argument. Everything is debatable. But when you stand for something, decisions are obvious.
Live it or leave it – standing for something isn’t just about writing it down. It’s about believing it and living it.
Outside money is Plan Z
You Need Less Than You Think – eg) do you really need a big office when you can share office space (or work from home) for a while?
Start a business, not a start-up – A business without a path to profit isn’t a business, it’s a hobby.
Less Mass - Right now, you’re the smallest, leanest, and fastest you’ll ever be. You can change your priorities, product, mix or focus. Most important, you can change your mind.
CHAPTER – PROGRESS
Embrace Constraints – Stop whining. Less is a good thing. Constraints are advantages in disguise. Limited resources force you to make so with what you’ve got. There’s no room for waste. And that forces you to be creative.
Build half a product, not a half-assed product.
Start at the epicentre – the stuff you have to do is where you should begin. Start at the epicentre. Everything else is secondary. “If I took this away, would what I’m selling still exist?”
Ignore the details early on – Getting infatuated with details too early leads to disagreement meetings and delays. Nail the basics first and worry about the specifics later. Detail just doesn’t buy you anything in the early stages. Besides, you often can’t recognise the details that matter most until after you start building.
Making the call is making progress – You can’t build on top of “We’ll decide later,” but you can build on top of “Done”.
Be a Curator – Make conscious decisions about what should stay and what should go. It’s about quality.
Throw Less at the Problem – When things aren’t working, the natural inclination is to throw more at the problem. The right way to go is the opposite direction: cut back.
Focus on what won’t change – The core of your business should be built around things that won’t change.
Tone is in your fingers – The content is what matters. You can spend tons on fancy equipment, but if you’ve got nothing to say…well, you’ve got nothing to say.
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.
Sell your by-products – when you make something, you always make something else. You can’t just make one thing. Everything has a by-product. Observant and creative business minds spot these by-products and see opportunities. There’s probably something you haven’t thought about that you could sell too.
Launch now – Once your product does what it needs to do, get it out there….if you had to launch your business in two weeks, what would you cut out? Stop imagining what’s going to work. Find out for real.
CHAPTER – PRODUCTIVITY
Illusions of agreement – reports no one reads, diagrams no one looks at, and specs that never resemble the finished product. These things take forever to make but only seconds to forget.
If you need to explain something, try getting real with it. Instead of describing what something looks like, draw it. Instead of explaining what something sounds like, hum it. Do everything you can to remove layers of abstraction.
Get the chisel out and start making something real. Anything else is just a distraction.
Reasons to Quit – Don’t be timid about your conclusions. Sometimes abandoning what you’re working on is the right move, even if you’ve already put a lot of effort in. Don’t throw good time after bad work.
Interruptions – Your day is under siege by interruptions. It’s on you to fight back. The worst of all interruptions are meetings.
Good enough is fine – when good enough gets the job done, go for it.
Quick Wins – Momentum fuels motivation. It keeps you going. It drives you. The way you build momentum is by getting something done and then moving on to the next thing. To keep your momentum and motivation up, get in the habit of accomplishing small victories along the way.
Excitement comes from doing something and then letting customers have at it.
Say to yourself, “What can we do in two weeks?” And then do it. The quicker it’s in the hands of the customers, the better off you’ll be.
Don’t be a hero – A lot of times it’s better to be a quitter than a hero. If you already spent 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.
Your Estimates Suck – keep breaking your timeframes down into smaller chunks. Then go one step at a time.
Long Lists don’t get done – Start making smaller to-do lists – break down a long list into a bunch of smaller lists.