100 Top Quotes From ReWork

ReWork is a manifesto that challenges conventional wisdom and reimagines the rules of entrepreneurship and business success. Authored by the founders of Basecamp, Jason Fried, and David Heinemeier Hansson, the book boldly challenges the notion of excessive planning and overthinking, advocating for a "less is more" approach to building and running a business. Their revolutionary ideas advocate for simplicity, efficiency, and a focus on what truly matters to drive productivity and innovation.

With practical insights and real-life examples, ReWork promotes a shift away from corporate bureaucracy and traditional hierarchical structures in favor of empowering small teams to make meaningful impacts. The book encourages entrepreneurs to embrace experimentation, fail fast, and iterate quickly while emphasizing the value of staying close to customers and their actual needs. By demystifying the path to success and redefining the boundaries of work, ReWork provides a refreshing and inspiring perspective on how to create a thriving and sustainable business in an ever-changing world. (ReWork Summary).

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ReWork Quotes

"Workaholics aren't heroes. They don't save the day, they just use it up. The real hero is home because she figured out a faster way”

“What you do is what matters, not what you think or say or plan.” (Meaning)

"If you’re a copycat, you can never keep up. You’re always in a passive position. You never lead; you always follow. You give birth to something that’s already behind the times—just a knockoff, an inferior version of the original. That’s no way to live.”

"When you don’t know what you believe, everything becomes an argument. Everything is debatable. But when you stand for something, decisions are obvious.”

"Working without a plan may seem scary. But blindly following a plan that has no relationship with reality is even scarier.”

"If you are trying to decide among a few people to fill a position hire the best writer. it doesn't matter if the person is marketer, salesperson, designer, programmer, or whatever, their writing skills will pay off. That's because being a good writer is about more than writing clear writing. Clear writing is a sign of clear thinking. great writers know how to communicate. they make things easy to understand. they can put themselves in someone else's shoes. they know what to omit. And those are qualities you want in any candidate. Writing is making a comeback all over our society. Writing is today's currency for good ideas.”

"Find a judo solution, one that delivers maximum efficiency with minimum effort. When good enough gets the job done, go for it.”

"Workaholics don't actually accomplish more than nonworkaholics. They may claim to be perfectionists, but that just mean they're wasting time fixating on inconsequential details instead of moving on to the next task.”

"Until you actually start making something, your brilliant idea is just that, an idea.”

"If circumstances change, your decisions can change. Decisions are temporary.”

"If you build software, every error message is marketing”

"Unless you are a fortune-teller, long-term business planning is a fantasy”

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"If you're opening a hot dog stand, you could worry about the condiments, the cart, the name, the decoration. But the first thing you should worry about is the hot dog. The hot dogs are the epicenter. Everything else is secondary.”

"It’s a lot harder to pull your head up and ask why.”

"That world may be real for them, but it doesn't mean you have to live in it.”

"It’s a beautiful way to put it: Leave the poetry in what you make. When something becomes too polished, it loses its soul. It seems robotic.”

"There are four-letter words you should never use in business. They're not fuck or shit. They're need, must, can't, easy, just, only and fast. These words gets in the way of healthy communication”

"Think about it this way: If you had to launch your business in two weeks, what would you cut out?”

"The problem with abstractions (like reports and documents) is that they create illusions of agreement. A hundred people can read the same words, but in their heads, they’re imagining a hundred different things.”

"Meetings: They often include at least one moron who inevitably gets his turn to waste everyone’s time with nonsense”

"Don't let yourself off the hook with excuses.”

"When you treat people like children, you get children’s work.”

"Small is not just a stepping-stone. Small is a great destination itself”

"You're better off with a kick-ass half than a half-assed whole.”

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"Marketing is not a department Do you have a marketing department? If not, good. If you do, don’t think these are the only people responsible for marketing. Accounting is a department. Marketing isn’t. Marketing is something everyone in your company is doing 24/7/365. Just as you cannot not communicate, you cannot not market: Every time you answer the phone, it’s marketing. Every time you send an e-mail, it’s marketing. Every time someone uses your product, it’s marketing. Every word you write on your Web site is marketing. If you build software, every error message is marketing. If you’re in the restaurant business, the after-dinner mint is marketing. If you’re in the retail business, the checkout counter is marketing. If you’re in a service business, your invoice is marketing. Recognize that all of these little things are more important than choosing which piece of swag to throw into a conference goodie bag. Marketing isn’t just a few individual events. It’s the sum total of everything you do.”

"When everything constantly needs approval, you create a culture of nonthinkers.”

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

"People automatically associate quitting with failure, but sometimes that's exactly what you should do. 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.”

"It’s a lot harder to pull your head up and ask why.”

"Whenever you can, swap “Let’s think about it” for “Let’s decide on it.” Commit to making decisions. Don’t wait for the perfect solution. Decide and move forward.”

"It's better to have people be happy using someone else's product than disgruntled using yours.”

"Press Releases are spam”

"Plans let past drives the future.”

"Teach and you'll form a bond you just don't get from traditional marketing tactics. Buying people's attention with a magazine or online banner ad is one thing. Earning their loyalty by teaching them forms a whole different connection. They'll trust you more. They'll respect you more. Even if they don't use your product, they can still be your fans.”

"If no one’s upset by what you’re saying, you’re probably not pushing hard enough. (And you’re probably boring, too.)”

"Limited resources force you to make do with what you've got. There's no room for waste. And that forces you to be creative.”

"If you constantly fret about timing things perfectly, they'll never happen.”

"Ever find yourself working on something without knowing exactly why? Someone just told you to do it. It's pretty common, actually. That's why it's important to ask why you're working on _____. What is this for? Who benefits? What's the motivation behind it? Knowing the answers to these questions will help you better understand the work itself.”

"WE ALL HAVE ideas. Ideas are immortal. They last forever. What doesn’t last forever is inspiration. Inspiration is like fresh fruit or milk: It has an expiration date.”

"Don’t make up problems you don’t have yet. It’s not a problem until it’s a real problem. Most of the things you worry about never happen anyway.”

"Pass on hiring people you don't need, even if you think that person's a great catch.”

"A business without a path to profit isn't a business, it's a hobby.”

"Delegators love to pull people into meetings, too. In fact, meetings are a delegator’s best friend. That’s where he gets to seem important. Meanwhile, everyone else who attends is pulled away from getting real work done.”

"Culture is action, not words.”

"All companies have customers. Lucky companies have fans. But the most fortunate companies have audiences.”

"No time is no excuse”

"When you build an audience, you don’t have to buy people’s attention—they give it to you. This is a huge advantage. So build an audience. Speak, write, blog, tweet, make videos—whatever. Share information that’s valuable and you’ll slowly but surely build a loyal audience.”

"Failure is not a pre-requisite for success. Already successful entrepreneurs are far more likely to succeed again than who failed”

"Workaholics aren’t heroes. They don’t save the day, they just use it up. The real hero is already home because she figured out a faster way to get things done.”

"How long someone’s been doing it is overrated. What matters is how well they’ve been doing it.”

"You don’t make a great museum by putting all the art in the world into a single room. That’s a warehouse.”

"It’s entirely your responsibility to make your dreams come true.”

"Writing is today 's currency for good ideas.”

"What do you call a generic pitch sent out to hundreds of strangers hoping that one will bite? Spam.”

"When you want something bad enough, you make the time—regardless of your other obligations. The truth is most people just don’t want it bad enough. Then they protect their ego with the excuse of time. Don’t let yourself off the hook with excuses. It’s entirely your responsibility to make your dreams come true.”

"Don't throw good time after bad work.”

"Everyone should be encouraged to start his own business, not just some rare breed that self-identifies as entrepreneurs.”

"The most important thing is to begin.”

"You don’t need an MBA, a certificate, a fancy suit, a briefcase, or an above-average tolerance for risk. You just need an idea, a touch of confidence, and a push to get started.”

"The longer something takes, the less likely it is that you're going to finish it.”

"If you're just going to be like everyone else, why are you even doing this? If you merely replicate competitors, there's no point for your existence. Even if you wind up losing, it's better to go down fighting for what you believe in instead of just imitating others.”

"People will respect you more if you are open, honest, public, and responsive during a crisis. Don’t hide behind spin or try to keep your bad news on the down low. You”

"It’s OK if it’s not perfect. You might not seem as professional, but you will seem a lot more genuine.”

"Check the cover letter. In a cover letter, you get actual communication instead of a list of skills, verbs, and years of irrelevance.”

"Easy is a word that’s used to describe other people’s jobs. “That should be easy for you to do, right?” But notice how rarely people describe their own tasks as easy. For you, it’s “Let me look into it”—but for others, it’s “Get it done.”

"no one’s upset by what you’re saying, you’re probably not pushing hard enough. (And you’re probably boring, too.)”

"When you are new at something, you need to start creating.”

"Starting a business on the side while keeping your day job can provide all the cash flow you need.”

"Ideas are cheap and plentiful. The original pitch idea is such a small part of a business that it’s almost negligible. The real question is how well you execute.”

"We all have that one friend who says, "I had the idea for eBay. If only I had acted on it, I'd be a billionaire!" That logic is pathetic and delusional. Having the idea for eBay has nothing to do with actually creating eBay. What you do is what matters, not what you think or say or plan.”

"When you build a product or service, you make the call on hundreds of tiny decisions each day. If you’re solving someone else’s problem, you’re constantly stabbing in the dark. When you solve your own problem, the light comes on. You know exactly what the right answer is.”

"You don’t create a culture. It happens. This is why new companies don’t have a culture. Culture is the by-product of consistent behavior.”

"So ask yourself, ""What can we do in two weeks?"" And then do it. Get out there and let people use it, taste it, play it, or whatever. The quicker it's in the hands of customers, the better off you'll be.”

"Decisions are progress. Each one you make is a brick in your foundation. You can’t build on top of “We’ll decide later,” but you can build on top of”

"Easy. Easy is a word that’s used to describe other people’s jobs. “That should be easy for you to do, right?” But notice how rarely people describe their own tasks as easy. For you, it’s “Let me look into it”—but for others, it’s “Get it done.”

"When we start designing something, we sketch out ideas with a big, thick Sharpie marker, instead of a ballpoint pen. Why? Pen points are too fine. They’re too high-resolution. They encourage you to worry about things that you shouldn’t worry about yet, like perfecting the shading or whether to use a dotted or dashed line. You end up focusing on things that should still be out of focus.”

"Besides, the perfect time never arrives. You’re always too young or old or busy or broke or something else. If you constantly fret about timing things perfectly, they’ll never happen.”

"If you've never given a speech before, do you want your first speech to be in front of ten thousand people or ten people? You don't want everyone to watch you starting your business. It makes no sense to tell everyone to look at you if you're not ready to be looked at yet.”

"The owner actually tried the oil and chooses to carry it based on its taste. It’s not about packaging, marketing, or price. It’s about quality. He tried it and knew his store had to carry it. That’s the approach you should take too.”

"It doesn’t matter how much you plan, you’ll still get some stuff wrong anyway. Don’t make things worse by overanalyzing and delaying before you even get going.”

"Give up on the guesswork. Decide what you’re going to do this week, not this year. Figure out the next most important thing and do that. Make decisions right before you do something, not far in advance.”

"Working more doesn’t mean you care more or get more done. It just means you work more.”

"Pour yourself into your product and everything around your product too: how you sell it, how you support it, how you explain it, and how you deliver it. Competitors can never copy the you in your product.”

"They’re need, must, can’t, easy, just, only, and fast. These words get in the way of healthy communication. They are red flags that introduce animosity, torpedo good discussions, and cause projects to be late.”

"People are creatures of habit. That’s why they react to change in such a negative way. They’re used to using something in a certain way and any change upsets the natural order of things. So they push back. They complain. They demand that you revert to the way things were. But that doesn’t mean you should act. Sometimes you need to go ahead with a decision you believe in, even if it’s unpopular at first.”

"Long projects zap morale. The longer it takes to develop, the less likely it is to launch. Make the call, make progress, and get something out now—while you’ve got the motivation and momentum to do so.”

"Clear writing is a sign of clear thinking. Great writers know how to communicate. They make things easy to understand.”

"You wind up building what investors want instead of what customers want.”

"How should you keep track of what customers want? Don’t. Listen, but then forget what people said. Seriously. There’s no need for a spreadsheet, database, or filing system. The requests that really matter are the ones you’ll hear over and over. After a while, you won’t be able to forget them. Your customers will be your memory. They’ll keep reminding you. They’ll show you which things you truly need to worry about.”

"It makes no sense to tell everyone to look at you if you’re not ready to be looked at yet.”

"Instead of trying to outspend, outsell, or outsponsor competitors, try to out-teach them.”

"Not only is this workaholism unnecessary, it’s stupid. Working more doesn’t mean you care more or get more done. It just means you work more. Workaholics wind up creating more problems than they solve. First off, working like that just isn’t sustainable over time. When the burnout crash comes—and it will—it’ll hit that much harder.”

"Share information that’s valuable and you’ll slowly but surely build a loyal audience. Then when you need to get the word out, the right people will already be listening.”

"Write to be read, don't write just to write.”

"As a business owner, you should share everything you know too. This is anathema to most in the business world. Businesses are usually paranoid and secretive. They think they have proprietary this and competitive advantage that. Maybe a rare few do, but most don’t. And those that don’t should stop acting like those that do.”

"This real world sounds like an awfully depressing place to live. It’s a place where new ideas, unfamiliar approaches, and foreign concepts always lose. The only things that win are what people already know and do, even if those things are flawed and inefficient.”

"There’s no point in selling a few more sandwiches if the bread isn’t good. A few bucks isn’t going to make up for selling food we can’t be proud of.”

"Hire slowly. It’s the only way to avoid winding up at a cocktail party of strangers.”

"Don't shy away from the fact that your product or service does less. Highlight it. Be proud of it. Sell it as aggressively as competitors sell their extensive feature lists.”

"Culture is the byproduct of consistent behavior.”

"Do we look at Harvard or Oxford and say, “If they’d only expand and branch out and hire thousands more professors and go global and open other campuses all over the world … then they’d be great schools.” Of course not. That’s not how we measure the value of these institutions. So why is it the way we measure businesses?”

"There’s surprisingly little difference between a candidate with six months of experience and one with six years. The real difference comes from the individual’s dedication, personality, and intelligence.”

"Too much time in academia can actually do you harm. Take writing, for example. When you get out of school, you have to unlearn so much of the way they teach you to write there. Some of the misguided lessons you learn in academia: The longer a document is, the more it matters. Stiff, formal tone is better than being conversational. Using big words is impressive. You need to write a certain number of words or pages to make a point.”

"It’s no wonder so much business writing winds up dry, wordy, and dripping with nonsense. People are just continuing the bad habits they picked up in school. It’s not just academic writing, either. There are a lot of skills that are useful in academia that aren’t worth much outside of it.”

"Find a judo solution, one that delivers maximum efficiency with minimum effort.”

"When you treat people like children, you get children’s work. Yet that’s exactly how a lot of companies and managers treat their employees.”

"To keep your momentum and motivation up, get in the habit of accomplishing small victories along the way.”

"Start getting into the habit of saying no--even to many of your best ideas. Use the power of no to get your priorities straight. You rarely regret saying no. But you often wind up regretting saying yes. People avoid saying no because confrontation makes them uncomfortable. But the alternative is even worse. You drag things out, make things complicated, and work on ideas you don't believe in. It's like a relationship: Breaking one up is hard to do, but staying in it just because you're too chicken to drop the ax is even worse. Deal with the brief discomfort of confrontation up front and avoid the long-term regret.”

― Quotes from the book ReWork by Jason Fried

ReWork Author

As a renowned entrepreneur and author, Jason Fried offers a refreshing perspective on productivity, business, and work culture. Co-founder of Basecamp, a successful project management software company, Fried challenges conventional notions of how work should be conducted and advocates for a more sensible and balanced approach. In his book "Remote: Office Not Required," Fried discusses the benefits of remote work and dismantles the traditional office setup, asserting that employees can be just as, if not more, productive when working remotely. His keen insights on fostering a healthy work-life balance and promoting employee autonomy resonate with a generation seeking flexible and meaningful work experiences. Through his writing, Jason Fried continues to champion a human-centered approach to business, encouraging organizations to embrace innovation and adapt to the evolving needs of their workforce.

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Chief Editor

Tal Gur is an author, founder, and impact-driven entrepreneur at heart. After trading his daily grind for a life of his own daring design, he spent a decade pursuing 100 major life goals around the globe. His journey and most recent book, The Art of Fully Living, has led him to found Elevate Society.

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