Nuggets from the Book Re Work

I started reading the book “Re Work” by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson – Founders for 37 Signals.

37 Signals started in 1999 with 3 people as a web design consulting firm, in 2004 they are not happy with the project management tool used by the rest of the industry and they started building their own tool: Basecamp. Basecamp initially used by 37 Signals internally for project management. When they showed this tool to their clients, they liked it and they wanted to use the same. After 5 years Basecamp generates millions of dollars a year in profits.

Nuggets from this book,


Some people celebrate the workaholic culture. Not only this workaholism is unnecessary and it also creates a lot of problems. Working more it doesn’t mean you are getting more done. It just means you are working more. Workaholics create more problems than they solve. They even create crises. They also don’t think about how to plan a day’s efficiency, because they love to work overtime. They enjoy feeling like heroes. Workaholics are not heroes. They don’t save the day. They just use it up. The real hero is people who already home and spent a day efficiently and to do things in a faster way. 

What is growth

Growth doesn’t mean how many people in your company/team. Maybe the right size of your company is 5 people.  Maybe 10 people.  Maybe 200 people or Maybe it’s just you and your laptop. Grow slow and steady.  Small is not just a stepping stone. Small is a great destination in itself. 

Make a dent in the Universe:

To do great work you need to feel like you are making a difference. That you are putting a meaningful dent in the universe. It doesn’t mean you need to find the vaccine for covid 19. It’s just your efforts that need to feel valuable. You want your customer to say this product/services makes my life better. You want to feel that you stopped doing what you usually do. 

Scratch your own itch:

The easiest and straightforward way to create a great product or service is to make something you want to use. You can design and implement your idea and let’s see if it solves your problem.  If you are solving someone else’s problem, it means “you’re constantly stabbing in the dark. When you solve your own problem, the light comes on. You know exactly what the right answer is.”

No time is no excuse

The most common excuse people give “There is not enough time” to do something new. It’s all about priority. There is always enough time, if you spend it right. 

Draw a line in the sand

As you get going, keep in mind why you are doing and what you are doing. Great businesses have a point of view, not just a product or service. A strong stand is how you attract your fans. They point to you and defend you and spread the word further widely and passionately around the world. 

Strong opinions aren’t free. You will turn some people off. They will accuse you of being arrogant and aloof. they don’t like you.

If someone doesn’t like you, then it means you are doing something great. If nobody likes you, whatever you are doing is great. 

When you build a great product, a lot of people hate us because of different reasons and also they expect all the features in the competitors products. Some customers also insult us sometimes. But, we are just as proud of our products and proud about what our products don’t do. We design our product very simple. because , most of the products have a complex design, too many buttons, too many redirections. So we build products that are opposite of that. We also lose some customers. But that’s ok. You can’t satisfy the whole world. But, other people love our products intensively. That’s our line in the stand. 

Live it or Leave it:

There is a major difference between truly standing for something and having a mission statement that says you are standing for something. For example, if you are calling a customer support number and it says, thank you for calling and we value our customers and keep telling some automated voice without connecting the respective person and keep on stand by on the line is not actually a great customer support. If you really care about your customers, you need to have more support people to serve your customers. Please don’t give me an automated voice that’s telling how much you care about the customer. It’s a robot. We know the difference between genuine affection and robots that say some nice things that are programmed well. 

Standing for something is not writing it down. It’s about believing it and living it. 

Outside money is Plan Z:

You can always avoid outside funding. When you start building a restaurant you may need outside money to invest. But, to start a services/consulting business you may not need that much money. So, please always avoid outside money. When you turn to outsiders for funding, you need to answer to them. They can’t wait for a long time. Spending other people’s money is addictive and it’s usually a bad deal. 

You need less than you think

Do you really need 6 people to work on the project or just 2 people is enough?

Do you really need $50,000 for your marketing budget or $5,000 or $500 is enough for now?

Do you really need 6 month to deliver the project or you can make it in 3 months?

Do you really need full time customer service or you can handle it yourself?

Do you really need a big office or can you share office space or work from home?

There is nothing wrong with being frugal.

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