Rework book review by Founders of 37 Signals


You might’ve heard of Basecamp. Basecamp puts everything you need to get work done in one place. It’s the calm, organized way to manage projects, work with clients and generally run your business. 37 Signals is a web design agency who make snazzy platforms like this in their spare time. They also wrote Remote, which you can see the book review here

Rework is their 2nd book, which gives a series of no nonsense nuggets of business experience in a fun to read way. Check out a few of the main insights I took below

Rework book review

Key messages from the book:

Below are some key messages from Rework book review

ASAP is a dangerous word for your business

Of course, we’d all like things to be done as soon as is possible, but things marked as ASAP usually doesn’t need to be done ASAP. Marking busy work as ASAP diminishes the significance of the word for when something actually needs to be done ASAP. 

When you mark things to be done ASAP, you’re also telling people how to run their days. You work with adults and we all want to be treated like one. Telling them what is and isn’t a priority for them isn’t a good way to work   

Do less than your competition, but do it better

When making Basecamp, their beta testers were forever suggesting features that they could add. The main suggestion was “XX has this feature, can you add this to Basecamp?” Frequently, these requests to add features would have taken Basecamp in a different direction than they actually wanted

An argument Jason & David make is the recent rise in popularity of the fixed gear bicycle. For years, bike manufacturers have been adding different features and technology to bikes to ‘out do’ their competition. Recently fixed gear bicycles have boomed in popularity because of their low-tech nature. Thanks to being so basic, they offer amazing advantages like being lighter, more user-friendly, cheaper and require less maintenance

Underdo your competition by saying ‘no’ to features. Look at what you can with not deliver so that you can focus on what you’re really, really good at.

Make products for you

Jason & David say that the easiest way to make a great product is to make something that you want to use. This way, you design your product based on your expertise and you can immediately know whether or not what you’re making is any good

This is exactly where Basecamp came from. They focused on making Basecamp because it works for them. As a result, they know it works really well because it solves an incredibly relevant problem in an elegant way.

As a side note, do the same with our sales & marketing campaigns. We sell for ourselves in the same way we sell for our clients. How we find new clients for us, our sales & marketing campaign, is the exact same as how we generate sales for our clients.

As everything’s interchangeable, it makes it easier for us to handle internally. This also gives us the freedom to trial out and develop new approaches. When we find something that works, it’s easy to immediately apply them to our client’s campaigns


Check out the book here

I hope you found the Rework book review useful! You can check out the book here