ReWork: Summary Review & Takeaways

This is a summary review of ReWork containing key details about the book.

What is ReWork About?

ReWork provides a guide on how to be more productive and how to get more exposure without breaking the bank. It teaches us to stop talking and start working.

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Who is the Author of ReWork?

Jason Fried is a bestselling author and the co-founder and President of 37signals, a privately-held Chicago-based company committed to building the best web-based tools possible with the least number of features necessary.

David Heinemeier Hansson is a bestselling author and the co-founder of Basecamp and NYT bestselling coauthor of REWORK and REMOTE. He's also the creator of the software toolkit Ruby on Rails, which has been used to launch and power Twitter, Shopify, GitHub, Airbnb, Square, and over a million other web applications.

What are key takeaways from ReWork?

Takeaway #1 Build A Strong Core and You're Ready To Launch

Nowadays you often need just an idea and a laptop in order to launch your company but people get bogged down in details, want everything to be 100% perfect before launching, and think bigger than they actually need to. Starting small means you need fewer resources, less money, and less time allowing you to test the waters of your business venture slowly, building it up in your spare time, rather than going all-in, quitting your job, and potentially losing everything. So stop hesitating, the only thing a business needs to succeed is a strong core, everything else can be worked out on the journey to success.

Takeaway #2 Be True To Yourself & Inject Your Unique Personality Into Your Business

Build your business on passion, something you stand for and care about rather than just money and you'll have a unique business idea which harnesses you a loyal following. When success comes others will try to copy your business model but if you've built your business on your own values and injected your own personality making sure customers get an experience or customer service that goes above and beyond anything they've experienced before, competitors might be able to replicate your product or service but they won't be replicate the wow factor you offer that has customers coming back again and again.

Takeaway #3 Less Is More & Small Is Superior

Decide if you really want mass recognition or if you want to be one of the elite that delivers the very best in the world. Don't be embarrassed of the size of your business, don't hide behind jargon or invent personalities to make your business sound more important and larger than it is – Be true and be honest, people love supporting small businesses and will love getting customer support from the owner of the business rather than a worker going through the rote! By keeping your business small you also have the opportunity to experiment with products and services without it being broadcast across the world when something goes wrong, plus you can keep your business true to its core – If that means keeping things simple rather than wowing customers with bells and whistles, so be it.

Takeaway #4 Productivity & Planning – Be Focused Yet Flexible

Businesses are advised to make forecasts and business plans years into the future but those who wing it often succeed much faster. The advantage small businesses have over corporations is being able to act fast, without getting tied down in bureaucracy and boardroom meetings, however, many people get stuck wanting to make things perfect and not taking action until they have that perceived perfection. Make decisions based on what comes up tomorrow or next week rather than planning for next year, don't let distractions drag you down, and never wait to have the i's dotted and the t's crossed before saying yes to the idea or opportunity as you'll miss out on something that could have been the making of you and your company.

Book details

  • Print length: 279 Pages
  • Audiobook: 2 hrs and 50 mins
  • Genre: Business, Nonfiction, Entrepreneurship

What are the chapters in ReWork?

Chapter One - First
Chapter Two - Takedowns
Chapter Three - Go
Chapter Four - Progress
Chapter Five - Productivity
Chapter Six - Competitors
Chapter Seven - Evolution
Chapter Eight - Promotion
Chapter Nine - Hiring
Chapter Ten - Damage Control
Chapter Eleven - Culture

What are some of the main summary points from the book?

Here are some key summary points from the book:

  • Embrace simplicity: Rework emphasizes the value of simplicity in business. It encourages entrepreneurs to focus on what's essential, eliminate unnecessary complexity, and avoid overthinking. By keeping things simple, you can increase efficiency and reduce potential problems.
  • Start with what you have: Instead of waiting for perfect conditions, the book suggests that entrepreneurs should start with the resources they have available. Don't wait for more money, more staff, or more time. Take action with what you have and adapt along the way.
  • Emphasize action over planning: Rework advocates for a bias towards action. Rather than spending excessive time on planning, the authors argue that it's more effective to take action, learn from the feedback, and iterate as needed. By doing, you gain real-world experience and make progress.
  • Say no to unnecessary work: The book advises against overcommitting and taking on excessive workloads. Learn to say no to unnecessary tasks, meetings, and projects that don't align with your core objectives. Focusing on the essential work allows you to be more productive and deliver better results.
  • Embrace constraints: Constraints can actually be beneficial for creativity and problem-solving. Instead of viewing limitations as obstacles, see them as opportunities for innovation. Constraints force you to be resourceful and think creatively to find solutions.
  • Build a culture of trust and autonomy: Rework emphasizes the importance of trust and autonomy within a company. Give your employees the freedom to make decisions, take ownership of their work, and have a flexible work environment. Trust and autonomy lead to increased engagement and better outcomes.
  • Launch, then iterate: Rather than waiting for a perfect product or service, the book encourages launching early and iterating based on feedback. By getting your product or service into the market sooner, you can gather real-world data and make improvements based on customer insights.
  • Marketing through differentiation: Rework suggests that the best way to stand out in the market is through differentiation. Instead of competing on price or copying others, focus on what makes your product or service unique and valuable to your target audience.
  • Embrace the idea of learning from mistakes: Mistakes are part of the learning process. Instead of fearing failure, embrace it as an opportunity to grow and improve. Learn from your mistakes, adapt your approach, and keep moving forward.

What are good quotes from ReWork?

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

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

“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”

“Plus, 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.”

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

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

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

“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.”

“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.”

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

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

― Jason Fried - ReWork Quotes

What do critics say?

Here's what one of the prominent reviewers had to say about the book: "If given a choice between investing in someone who has read Rework or has an MBA, I'm investing in Rework every time. This is a must read for every entrepreneur." — Mark Cuban, co-founder of HDNet and and owner of the Dallas Mavericks

* The summary points above have been concluded from the book and other public sources. The editor of this summary review made every effort to maintain information accuracy, including any published quotes, chapters, or takeaways

Reading is Smart. Applying is Smarter:  Apply

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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