, , , , , ,

GovReads – ReWork – Reinventing Work

So I’m a big fan of the folks over at 37signals.com – a great blog written by the designer/developers over there who have created great stuff like BaseCamp.

What I like about them is they are not afraid of speaking their mind and they are often contrarian. They are purposely small, purposely advocate working less, purposely advocate taking out features, and generally have lots of great ideas from actually doing.
So what did I do this Sunday…I went to my local Borders, got a cup of coffee, and read their new book ReWork. It’s a quick read. And kind of their philosophy on business.

Here’s my notes on some of their best ideas:
-Planning is guessing
-It’s okay to wing it
-Aim to be a small business. Don’t need to get big
-Make a dent in the universe
-Build products you want to use
-It’s not about ideas. It’s about execution
-What’s your point of view?
-It’s more important to live mission than to create a long statement that no one cares about
-Constraints are good
-Be a curator- it’s important to decide what’s not in
-Focus on the things that won’t change. The core.
-Set up alone time to focus on work. Not email, meetings, etc.
-Real work is like REM sleep. Takes while to get in flow.
-Copiers never catch up as they miss the underlying layers
-Don’t confuse enthusiasm with priority
-Don’t write everything down – the important stuff will come up time and again
-Out teach the competition
-Show ’em the behind the scenes
-Marketing isn’t separate – it’s integrated in everything you do and behave
-Resumes are ridiculous – everyone lies. Focus on what have done and do tests
-5 years experiences isn’t any better than 6 months on same task
-Hire the better writers
-Test drive people
-Culture takes time to develop

Leave a Comment


Leave a Reply

Terrence (Terry) Hill

Thanks for the recap. It’s in my Kindle but I’m still reading Little Big Things by Tom Peters. I can’t believe that you read it in one sitting. I also can’t believe that you aren’t using a Kindle or IPad to read books. This title reminded me of Reengineering, which didn’t quite meet expectations for reinventing the government.


I’m a super speed reader…good news – I read fast. Bad news – I don’t remember all of it.

Saw the same Tom Peters book at Borders. Looks good.

Nina Adrianna

I’m curious about the point, ‘Focus on the things that won’t change. The core.’ Sounds a bit like what a lot of us are up against in trying to affect change.

Where is the hope in this point?

It is related to the point, ‘Make a dent in the universe’? ie, affecting the core a little bit is good enough? Be satisfied with affecting things a little (or never be satisfied–keep pushing)?

Or, are they capturing an attitude, one of perserverance–if you think it’s worth changing, then try, even if you might not succeed?


I think the point of focus on the things that won’t change was….for example, don’t focus on whether Twitter is better than social networking than wikis.

Focus on the thing that won’t change – that people want to communicate and learn from others but often need incentives to share.

You caught one theme of their book that which was perservance and gradual…