My latest read & notes: “Rework”

My latest read: “Rework” by Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson


Buy this book immediately! …and I don’t like business books that much. They’re always written by someone who’s been successful, telling you if you just do it their way, you’ll be rich too. They don’t account for your personality, they certainly don’t account for your industry. They just give you hope. That if you read this book your prayers will be answered, you’ll get rich!

Rework isn’t supportive, it’s oftentimes negative. It’s telling you the way everybody else says to do it is the wrong path. You’ll get the idea just by reading the chapter titles:

“Learning From Mistakes Is Overrated”
“Planning Is Guessing”
“Why Grow”

Everybody’s trying to get rich, by coming up with an idea that someone else will fund and the public will ultimately buy, on the stock exchange, allowing you to cash out and lie on the beach. Is lying on the beach that much fun? Not for someone who’s built a business, who’s sweated and nurtured an idea into reality. That’s what turns them on, not leisure. Not that you can’t get rich by investing your own funds and staying private. But is that the goal, beaucoup bucks?

Our society is so screwed up. We alternately revere and excoriate bankers. We envy their money. College students are dying to work in finance. And the bankers themselves? They all want to be artists. Yup, if you don’t know a banker who’s a secret guitar player, who wants to play in a band, you don’t know any. I meet a lot of them. They’ve subjugated their desire in pursuit of money. They refuse to flower, to find their own way, to ask themselves the hard questions, to take the road less-traveled, they’d rather just play it safe, doing it the way their parents told them to.

“Rework” says first and foremost you need to make a dent in the universe: “To do great work, you need to feel that you’re making a difference. That you’re putting a meaningful dent in the universe. That you’re part of something important.” This doesn’t mean you’ve got to find the cure for cancer. It’s just that your efforts need to feel valuable. You want customers to say, ‘This makes my life better.’ You want to feel that if you stopped doing what you do, people would notice. You should feel an urgency about this too. You don’t have forever. This is your life’s work. Do you want to build just another me-too product or do you want to shake things up?

“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.”

“Standing for something isn’t just about writing it down. It’s about believing it and living it.”

Every page of “Rework”, you’re nodding your head saying “That’s right!” It’s like finally finding a friend you can connect with, one who knows a little bit more than you, who will challenge you, make you think, help you choose the correct path and inspire you to do your best work.

So like my previous note (Inspiration we all need) says:

If you’re inspired on Friday, swear off the weekend and dive into a project. When you’re high on inspiration, you can get two weeks of work done in twenty-four hours. Inspiration is a time machine in that way. Believe me when I say this. With a decade of recording five albums of music I dove in head first. It’s a time machine being in the studio where a lot of work is put in based on being inspired and putting everything else off.

Inspiration is a magical thing, a productivity multiplier, a motivator. But it won’t wait for you. Inspiration is a now thing. If it grabs you, grab it right back and put it to work. “Rework” will change your way of thinking.

Maybe I should star making another album of music? What say you Ramie? Time machine…here we come again?


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