Review “Rework” by Jason Fried und David Heinemeier Hansson

Today I introduce you to one of my favorite books, “Rework – Business Smart and Simple” by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson. The two authors are the founders of 37signals and have developed the framework Ruby on Rails, on which most of their products are based. After devouring their first work Getting Real in the online edition (, it’s time to spend the money on a hardcover. I like books that pragmatically approach the topic of business start-ups / company founding, so get straight to the point:

On a total of 281 pages, Fried and Hansson reiterate their experiences from the founding of their company and the projects they have implemented.

The chapters are very clear. Normally between one and two pages. So you can read this book well in small doses – keyword: bathroom reading. Fine!

A small selection of exciting theses:

Why grow?

One of the core themes in the book is the principle of simplicity. Applied to the company, this means: why does the company have to grow?
Especially in the field of IT, there is a reflex of the sort “more projects – more people” to watch, although “better tools, more cooperation and clever (time) management” may be more the answer.

Start a business, not a startup

As I wrote in my article “15 Steps to Successful Bootstrapping – Part 4”, startups are not exactly realistic. Cash burn rate and exit strategy, but often not a solid business model with profit, that complain Fried and Hansson.

Get to bed / Send your employees home at five / Workaholics

These chapters clear up the prejudice that only total expenditure leads to remarkable benefits. The opposite is often the case: Permanent overtime, lack of sleep and a “What are you going to do now?” – culture in the long run only to exhaustion and at worst burnout. Stop it.

Meetings are poison

Meetings should be as short as possible, or completely eliminated, as they often bring astonishingly little insight, but at a high cost. A one-hour meeting with 10 people is actually a ten-hour meeting.

Bottom Line

Relaxing to read, translation into German also fits. Entertaining, humorous and often provocative. This is how management literature works today.

P.S .: Incidentally, the German new edition means Meetings are poison: plea for a new business culture, so do not be surprised.