Rework Book: Jason Fried, David Heinemeier Hansson. Part 2. Evolution

See the previous Part 1. Progress

Here we continue to share the alternative summary of “Rework” with the extra time management tips. This review was written by Andrei Backlinau (who kindly allowed us to share it 🙂

Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson is not a typical book with boring and trivial advice.The large audience of readers who have read the book, admits that Rework shows what you really need to get success in business. The main idea of the book) is to stop talking and start working.

So let’s dive into details…

GanttPRO review of Rework for project managers


Tips to manage time successfully

Say no by default

It’s so easy to say yes. Yes to another feature, yes to an overly optimistic deadline, yes to a mediocre design.

Take a habit to say “no” even to the best ideas. Say “no” to define priorities.

People avoid saying no because confrontation makes them uncomfortable. But the alternative is even worse. You drag things out, make things complicated, and work on ideas you don’t believe in.

“Do not believe that a customer is always right. You do not need to spoil your product because of some loud customers.”

Let your customers outgrow you

Maybe you’ve seen this scenario: There’s a customer that’s paying a company a lot of money. The company tries to please that customer in any way possible. It tweaks and changes the product per this one customer’s requests and starts to alienate its general customer base.

Then one day that big customer winds up leaving and the company is left holding the bag–and the bag is a product that’s ideally suited to someone who’s not there anymore. Now it’s a bad fit for everyone else.

“People and situations change. You can’t be everything to everyone. Companies need to be true to a type of customer more than a specific individual customer with changing needs”.

Rework book by Jason Fried GanttPRO review

Don’t confuse enthusiasm with priority

Coming up with a great idea gives you a rush. You start imagining the possibilities and the benefits.

The enthusiasm you have for a new idea is not an accurate indicator of its true worth. What seems like a sure-fire hit right now often gets downgraded to just a “nice to have” by morning. And “nice to have” isn’t worth putting everything else on hold.

So let your latest grand ideas cool off for a while first. By all means, have as many great ideas as you can. Get excited about them. Just don’t act in the heat of the moment. Write them down and park them for a few days. Then, evaluate their actual priority with a calm mind.

Don’t write it down

How should you keep track of what customers want? Do not listen, but then forget what people said. Seriously.

The requests that really matter are the ones you’ll hear over and over. After a while, you won’t be able to forget them. Your customers will be your memory. They will keep reminding you. They will show you which things you truly need to worry about

If there’s a request that you keep forgetting, that’s a sign that it isn’t very important. The important stuff doesn’t go away.


Build an audience

All companies have customers. Lucky companies have fans. But the most fortunate companies have audiences. An audience can be your secret weapon

So create your audience. Tell stories, create a blog, make tweets and shoot video. Whatever. Share the valuable information. And you will see how your audience will grow.

Out-teach your competition

You can advertise. You can hire salespeople. You can sponsor events. But your competitors are doing the same things. How does that help you stand out?

Instead of trying to outspend, outsell, or our sponsor competitors, try to out-teach them. Teaching probably isn’t something your competitors are even thinking about. Most businesses focus on selling or servicing, but teaching never even occurs to them.

Etsy Company arranges workshops for its customers by teaching them to sell and promote their products more effectively. Harry Vaynerchuk, the owner of the wine network, teaches how to differ wines in his channel.

“Educate and you will “bound” people. This is the completely different type of connection with the audience than the typical advertising”.

Emulate chefs

They are great chefs, but there are a lot of great chefs out there. So why do you know these few better than others? Because they share everything they know. Demonstrating the basic principles of time management, they put their recipes in cookbooks and show their techniques on cooking shows.

Business owners need to do the same. Share what you know. Do not be suspicious, keeping it a secret.

So emulate famous chefs. They cook, so they write cookbooks. What do you do? What are your “recipes”? What’s your “cookbook”? What can you tell the world about how you operate that’s informative, educational, and promotional? This book is our cookbook. What’s yours?

Go behind the scenes

Give people a backstage pass and show them how your business works. Imagine that someone wanted to make a reality show about your business.

While opening “backstage secrets” to curious, you will create new relationships with the audience. Instead of a faceless company, they will see real people and will realize how many efforts are spent on the creation of products.

They will be grateful for what you do.

Jason Fried Rework book for managers

Drug dealers get it right

Drug dealers are astute businesspeople. They know their product is so good they’re willing to give a little away for free upfront. They know you will be back for more – with money.

Do not be afraid to share free. You should feel that people would return for “additives”. And if you’re not sure, this means that your product is not strong enough.

Marketing is not a department

If you have a marketing department, you should not think specialists of this department are the only people responsible for marketing.

“Marketing is not a department; it’s a way of life. It’s all, what your employees do 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. “

Answering a call is marketing. Sending emails is marketing. Every word on the site is also marketing.

If you are working in a restaurant business, each chewing gum in bills is marketing. If you work in retail, a weigher for products is marketing. If you are working in business services, every bill is marketing.

Keep in mind that each of these little things is much more important than choosing a stuff you want to put in a gift bag at the conference. Marketing is not a separate event. Marketing is the compilation of all your actions.


Do it yourself first

Never hire anyone to do a job until you’ve tried to do it yourself first. Examine yourself with time management projects for example. That way, you’ll understand the nature of the work. You’ll know what a job well done looks like. You’ll know how to write a realistic job description and which questions to ask in an interview.

You will know whether to hire someone full-time or part-time, outsource it, or keep doing it yourself (the last is preferable, if possible).

“You should want to be intimately involved in all aspects of your business. Otherwise, you’ll wind up in the dark, putting your fate solely in the hands of others.”

Hire when it hurts

Hire only to relieve headaches. No need to hire for a pleasure.

Always ask yourself the following questions: “What happens if we will not hire anyone? Is this work important to the company? And what will happen if we do not take care of our duties?

Similarly, if your employee leaves the company, do not find a new one this day. Often happens that you do not need as many people as it seems. Use Gantt chart time management tools to combine all the tasks to employees and assess priorities.

Pass on great people

Pass on hiring people you don’t need, even if you think that person’s a great catch. You will be doing your company more harm than good if you bring in talented people who have nothing important to do.

Overstaffing creates problems. You begin to invent tasks. Artificial work on artificial projects. These are extra costs and additional complexity.”

Resumes are ridiculous

Resumes are a joke. They’re exaggerations. They’re filled with “action verbs” that don’t mean anything.

If you hire based on this garbage, you’re missing the point of what hiring is about. You want a specific candidate who cares specifically about your company, your products, your customers, and your job.

How to search great candidates?

Look through a cover letter. You will get a real “message” instead of a list of skills, verbs, and useless words. You will hear the true voice.

“If the first paragraph sucks, the second has to work that much harder”.

Years of irrelevance

It is irrelevant how long someone was engaged in something. The only matter is how well he did it.

Forget about formal education

“I’ve never let my school interfere with my education”.  (Mark Twain)

There are plenty of companies that require education.

This is an idiotic decision. There are many smart people around who have no high education and who did not well at school. 90% of directors of the top 500 US companies have not received a bachelor’s degree.

Everybody works

With a small team, you need people who are going to do work, not delegate work.

Avoid people who delegate. It is a dead weight for a small company. They are fond of meetings where they can lighten up, while other members are detached from the real work.

Hire managers of one

Managers of one are people who come up with their own goals and execute them. They don’t need heavy direction. They don’t need daily check-ins. They do what a manager would do–set the tone, assign items, determine what needs to get done, etc.—but they do it by themselves and for themselves.

“You want someone who’s capable of building something from scratch and seeing it through”.

Hire great writers

When choosing between several candidates for the same position, give preference to those who are better able to write.

Clear writing is a sign of clear thinking. Great writers know how to communicate. They make things easy

to understand. Great writers are able to interact with other people. They make things clearer.

Take employees for test drives

Interviews are only worth so much. Some people sound like pros but don’t work like pros.

The best way to check a potential employee is to see directly how he/she works. Give him/her a mini-project for 20-40 hours, and you will see how he/she makes decisions, what kind of questions asks managing time effectively at works and so on.

“You will be able to judge them by their actions, not words. Because the truth comes out only when immersed in the real working environment. “

Do you want to know more?

Follow to the Part 3. Damage Control

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