A book straight from my heart: Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hanson. They are the two of the people behind the company 37signals. They build products like Basecamp, Highrise, Backpack, Ruby on Rails and more. And they have done that with just 12 people! A fresh view on business and success. I want to share some interesting quotes from the book. I added comments to them. There are a lot more great one liners in the book, so read it!
Planning is guessing
I complete agree with this, you need a clear direction not a 100 page business plan. This is why I like agile software development so much. You focus on the now, doing what you can do.
Small is a great destination in itself
The fact that 37signals is able to build and support so many products and support so many customers is amazing. It must mean that there is a truth in this. I always chose to work for ‘small’ companies, large enough to make an impact, but small enough to still be fun to work for. I don’t know if ‘small’ should be a goal, but I do know growing big isn’t.
Workaholics aren’t heroes. They don’t save the day, they just use it up.
This one I like and it’s true, but there is a catch. I’m writing this blog on a Sunday morning, but I don’t consider it to be work. Or is it?
Put a meaningful dent in the universe
Work must be meaningful. In the past I created a lot of online help systems, often for terrible software. I stopped doing that because I felt that if the programmers would do a better job a lot of my work would be superfluous. Now I create software and I hope that we can make a difference.
Scratch your own itch
This is the most important one. If you try to solve a problem that bothers you, you know what you want and where to go. I detest the way a lot of e-Learning authoring tools work, how they limit you in what you can do and the kind of e-Learning you can create with them. The best way to solve this problem is to create software yourself, software that works for you. It is very likely that others will like it to. It gives a completely different drive in comparison to someone who does something because he wants to make his first million before turning 30.
Constrains are advantages in disguise
Yes, if you have unlimited resources the chances of getting anywhere are very slim. If you have limited resources you need to prioritize and focus and then you will get somewhere.
Interruption is the enemy of production
I work from home at least two days a week. I save work that I really need to concentrate on for these days. It is a productivity boost!
Momentum fuels motivation
This is true. If you feel that you are moving in the right direction it is motivating. This one is connected to the ‘planning’ quote. Having goals at close range, that you can strive for gives you the sense of success and momentum!
Build an audience
I like this one. I read about turning your customers into fans, but I never read about turning fans into an audience. I guess it is what I hope to achieve with this blog and the presentations I do. Interesting I never thought about it in this way.
Out-teach your competition
This is a special one, teaching is a great way to stand out from the competition. It is something we can improve on at easygenerator. I will make it a priority from now on.
As a business owner you should share everything you know
I do agree, if you share your recipe you don’t share your talent. And sharing will generate feed back that will help you to improve. When I started at easygenerator I wrote two post on our vision and mission. They weren’t finished marketing material, but a snap shot of work in progress. I got a lot of feed back on these post, enabling me to improve them. For me this works way better than having secret sessions guided by an expensive consultant.
You don’t create culture, it happens
Interesting one, but it is true. As one of the employees you can deliver ingredients for a business culture, but your colleagues will do to. You never know what it will taste like until you eat it. I do think that as an CEO you can impact a culture substantially especially through your behavior. If you want an open, direct and honest culture, just act that way. Don’t put it in slogans on the walls.