I can’t believe I haven’t already written a review of this book. I read Rework months ago, several months ago, in fact. It’s by the guys over at 37signals, who make the Basecamp project management software, which I’ve used for many years and have come to rely on heavily. I’m often surprised I’m only paying them $50/month for how much value I get out of the stuff. I should send them a bonus.
Rework is the second most important business book I’ve ever read. The first is the Four-Hour Work Week, and I only say that FHWW is the most important because it’s more about life than the nuts and bolts of running a business, although it has that too.
When I read Rework, there wasn’t much in there that surprised me. After all, I’ve been reading up on these guys for a long time, I’ve listened to their podcasts, and I know where they’re coming from. But it was nice to have everything summarized and distilled in one place. Why is it the second most important business book I’ve ever read? Because no other business book educates you this well on what it’s like to start a company, and the lessons you should learn prior to starting one. As I read the book, I kept saying “Yeah, I did that wrong…” or “Hey! I did that right!” They were talking about things I had been through or was currently going through. Most other business books, even really good ones like Good to Great, talk about things most business owners never have encountered and never will. Those books are interesting because they talk about businesses we all know, and perhaps would like to own, but Rework talks about the small business you have right now and what you’re going through.
Granted, I run a business that is largely Internet-based, so the book might not apply as well to your business if it’s something completely different, although it still might. But it’s the second book I recommend to anyone who is an entrepreneur or is thinking of becoming one.