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Rework Summary

Here’s the Rework summary. Learn a better, faster, and easier way to succeed in business. You don’t have to work long hours to make something.


Rework authors Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson explain how to succeed in business using straightforward language.

You will find some of the advice unconventional. Here’s the thing. Those unconventional advice work. Both of the authors used them to start and grow their businesses.

Artists and business owners will benefit from this. They will realize that most of what they do are just excuses. They will also learn how to set the right priorities for their craft or business.

About the Authors

Jason Fried co-founded Basecamp in 1999. He frequently talks and writes about productivity, collaboration, and the nature of work. You can read more of his works from the Inc. website.

David Heinemeier Hansson created the popular Ruby on Rails web development framework. He was initially hired by Jason Fried to build a web-based project management tool (Basecamp).

Main takeaways: Rework Summary

Let’s discuss the key takeaways from their book:

  1. You need less than you think.
  2. You don’t need to be a workaholic.
  3. Stop talking and start working.

You need less than you think

To start something, you don’t always need hundreds of thousands of pesos. What you need is results.

Anywhere and for almost free, you can start a website that showcase your work. You can also sell stuff to your Facebook friends. You can also put some ads that tell about your products and services.

Focus first on what you want. And you’ll realize that you already have everything you need. You don’t need to take financing from your “kamag-anak.” You can already start something with a few hundreds or thousands of pesos.

You don’t have to hire 3 people to do the job. You might be able to do all the tasks alone. You might not need dozens of products. You might just need one product and start with that. You can always expand later.

You don’t need to be a workaholic

As mentioned earlier, you need less than you think. You don’t need to stay up all night just to get something done. You might just need a few hours to get the job done.

Being a workaholic will hurt us in the long run. We become compelled to be busy even if there’s no need. We try to fill each minute with some tasks that won’t help our business.

Being a workaholic also damages the team. When one is highly effective, he still feels guilty because people around him are all workaholics. He is forced to stay late even though he has already finished all the tasks.

A workaholic might come up with unnecessary work to justify his existence. Instead of coming up with more effective solutions, he thinks that more hours will solve the problem.

Focus on being productive instead of being busy. When you’re in business, what counts is your results. Customers won’t care much whether you did the overtime or not.

Stop talking and start working

Instead of complaining, work. Instead of telling your dreams to your friends, work. Instead of telling everybody why should they pay attention to you, work.

What you do will determine your results. No matter what you say or think, it’s your effort and results that count. If you have a business, it’s your sales and profits. If you’re an artist, it’s the quality of your craft.

Focus on what matters. You will be measured based on the results you produce. If you satisfy your customers, they will support you. You get more sales as a result. Then you will get motivated to do more and get better.

Long meetings also decrease productivity. Imagine you have a 10-person team. You hold a meeting with no clear agenda. An hour of that is only a waste.

Realize that you actually wasted at least 10 man-hours because each person has her own time. They could’ve done something that improved the figures. They could’ve avoided the overtime later in the day.

You need less than you think, you don’t need to be a workaholic, and start working. Aside from that, you will also learn the following from the Rework book:

  • Embracing constraints
  • Fighting interruptions
  • Making tiny decisions
  • Enthusiasm vs priority
  • The myth of the overnight sensation

My personal takeaways

Some of the advice are uncommon. But they actually work. I realized I don’t need a lot to start something. Right now I can start with one if I want to.

The authors pointed out the common excuses we make. They also pointed out the simple reasoning that made those excuses absurd. It made me motivated to start something again.

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