REWORK, Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson, 2010
This is a book by the people who founded the company that ignored much of the received wisdom about how to grow your company. Despite this it still became a very successful company, with a profitable operating method and millions of happy customers around the world.
Step by step they walk through how and why they chose not to follow many of the current oft repeated mantras of the start up world. They challenge the notion that it is important to fail fast and fail quickly.
It’s a short book, and they emphasise that just because it worked for them, it may not work for you. So this in itself is an important thing to remember, to avoid following the one size fits all strategy. This includes not hiring smart people if you don’t have a specific role for them. They may be great, but they could end up being more of a distructive force if there isn’t an appropriate outlet for their talents.
The book was published 4 years ago, but a lot of the ideas still remain valid and useful. If you haven’t read it, it is well worth getting hold of a copy. The authors are active on twitter @ @ @ and also continue to blog about their thoughts and experiences. https://signalvnoise.com/posts/3776-faith-in-eventually
They have great working practices. Believing that if you can’t get your job done between 9 – 5, then you must not be doing it right! They also work a 4 day week in the summer, and many of their staff work from all over the world, rather than all in the Chicago offices. For a long time they were called 37 signals, and their most successful product was Basecamp. However in an act of simplification, they decided to focus their energy on their main product, they scaled back their time and energy on the other products and renamed the company Basecamp to reflect this.
As you may have noticed too there are a lot of great illustrations through out the book. The story of how the illustrations were developed is also really interesting.
As well as the artist, Mike Rodhe’s own site too.