Rework by Jason Fried – Book Notes
Replace “Entrepreneur” with “Starter.”
Ideas are cheap and plentiful but there s no substitute for working on the idea. The work is the value not the idea.
When you want something bad enough you make the time.
Draw a line in the sand- what is it that you are doing? Have strong opinions. If no one is upset with what your products do, then you are not standing up for it. The sandwich shop that only sells fresh bread sandwiches and closes when the bread runs out.
Standing for something isn’t about writing it down it’s about believing it and living it.
Don’t built a business on other peoples money. Focus on customers and sell something great instead. Don’t get the power to someone else. Be lean, be focused, hire out to manufacture. Great companies start in garages all the time yours can too.
Every business new or old is governed by income and profit. A business without a path to profit is not a business it’s a hobby.
Building to flip is building to flop. You need a commitment strategy not an exit strategy. Be the one who gets a good thing going and keep it going.
Less mass, be nimble, be quick, be able to change direction and pivot fast. Change when needed.
Embrace constraints, get creative and you will be amazed with what you can accomplish. Southwest only uses Bowing 737s this allows everyone to work on any plane. Build half a product not a half asses product. Your better off with a great whole than a half assed whole. Do what you have to do, work on the epicenter. A hot dog stand needs hot dogs. Focusing on a good dog is focusing on the epicenter. Ignore the details, big picture is what you need to focus on.
Commit to making decisions. Don’t postpone action for the perfect solution. Make the call and move ahead.
Be a curator, edit all the possibilities, stick to the most important stuff, edit down to just the essentials.
Throw less at the problem. Trim a menu by having less choices. Do less to focus on essential. Focus on what will not change the stuff people want now and forever. Making things fast, easy to use, and great looking will always be in demand.
Don’t use gear as an excuse. Don’t worry about the tools. Focus on what really matters, focus on the content. “Your tone is in your fingers.”
Look for your waist. This book is by 37 signals. They know stuff.
What else can you sell?
Launch soon as possible. Think about launching in two weeks. What would you cut out? What do you need? Get real. Not abstract. Show what it is anything else is just a distraction.
What problem are you solving?
Is this actually useful?
Are you adding value?
Don’t add something unless it has an impact.
Keep asking questions. Don’t throw good time at bad work.
Interruption is the bane of productivity. You need long stretches of alone time. Your alone zone is your most productive time. No replying to email, taking phone calls, or going to meetings.
Meetings are liabilities rather than assets. Ten people in an hour long meeting waist ten to fifteen hours of your businesses productivity.
Strive for good enough. Build momentum by getting something done and then moving on. Don’t wait too long you will smother your sparks if you do.
Don’t be a hero. If it cost more time than expected, look for help. You might just walk away.
Go to sleep!
Lack of creativity – without sleep you lack creativity. Irritability is another result of lack of sleep.
We are bad at estimating our time. We are a lot wrong.
Break big tasks into smaller things. Insted of one twelve week project do 12 one week projects. Break down tasks. Use smaller list. Divide problems into small tasks. This is the solution to estimating big projects. Break down stuff into 6 hour chunks of time.
Long list don’t get done. Only do what you can deal with quickly. Break it down, put the most important thing at the top and do that.
Tiny decisions lead to big tasks but if wrong you can quickly fix the direction.
Do not copy! But if you do to make it better, you have to understand what’s underneath. But don’t give birth to crap. Be influenced but don’t steal.
Make your product more than the widget. That way nobody can copy you. You do it better, how you sell it, deliver it, answer follow up questions.
Take a stand so you stand out. Call out what you don’t like in the industry, praise what is good but call it out, take a stand.
Do less than the competition. Do a few simple things and do it well. The go pro cameras do one simple thing and they do it better than anyone else.
Don’t worry about the competition. Don’t be reactionary instead of visionary. Don’t just imitate. Evolve.
Say no! KISS keep it simple stupid! Let your customers out grow you.
Don’t look for customers instead build an audience. An audience will follow you and your products will get sold because you are selling them. Your fans, that is what you want fans.
Out teach your competition and they will trust you and respect you. Big companies will never teach for free. Emulate chefs. Share everything you know. Most businesses are to competitive and secretive to do this. Yet chefs have been doing this for years and they grow a loyal following.
Give people a back stage pass to see what you do and people will flock to your brand. Show the making of a ABoxOf box and people will buy! Show behind the curtain. Leave the poetry in what you do, you might not look polished and professional but you will be genuine.
Why issue press releases like everyone else? Instead call someone, impress upon a local reporter or a niche blogger. They are hungry for new stuff. Links from these places work better too.
Drug dealers get it right. Try it for free before the sell. Give it all away and people will get hooked to what you produce. They will be hungry to buy.
After all marketing is the sum total of everything you do.
Look for slow measured growth. Launch without pr. Build you fan base by selling with your fans help. Word of mouth is the best marketing after all.
Hire only when it hurts. Only when there is more work do do without quality slipping. Don’t make artificial work.
“I have never let my schooling to effect my education.” -Mark Twain
Don’t hire based on schooling. Hire based on talent.
Everyone works! Hire workers not delegators. Hire managers of one. Those that don’t need handholding. They have done projects start to finish on there own.
Hire great writers. Communication matters.
Test drive employees. Hire them for a mini project. See how they think and deal with it. Real work environment is when you know the truth if they have the chops.
When the shit hits the fan and bad news and bad PR happens take charge. Speed matters. The quickness of the the response is important.
Apologize to people. Use “I” not we. Say I’m sorry not I apologize that you feel that way. Feel the hurt that the customers are feeling.
Culture- you don’t create a culture- it happens- it is the action you do- it is how people work together- is how you communicate- deal with customers.
Skip the rock stars and ningas and hire the linchpins. Trust your employees. Let people go home so they can be busy with life. If you want something done ask the busiest person.
Don’t try to sound like a big company. Be honest of who you are. Don’t be afraid to be you. Talk to customers like you would talk to a friend. Write to be read. Forget rules. Write to one person not a mob. Fuck rules of business.
“Easy”, “can’t”, “need”, only, must, are four letter words not to use ASAP! Oh don’t use ASAP as well.
“Inspiration is perishable. We all have ideas. Ideas are immortal they last forever. Inspiration is like fresh fruit or milk, it has an expiration date. If you want yo do something you’ve got to do it now. You cant put it on a shelf and wait two months to get around to it. You cant just say you’ll do it later. Later you wont be pumped up about it anymore. No, If you have an inspired idea act on it while it’s hot. When you are high on inspiration you can get two weeks worth of work in twenty four hours. Inspiration is a time machine in that way. Inspiration is a magical thing a productivity magnifier 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.”