Book Review: ReWork

by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson
# ISBN-10: 9780307463746
# ISBN-13: 978-0307463746


  • Easily accessible writing style, it feels like to talk with an equal.
  • Genuinely useful advice and insights.
  • Written in bite-–sized chunks making it easy to read, use, and recommend.


  • Some of the advice is very obvious
  • Not all of the advice will be applicable depending on your situation.

SUMMARY: Useful, and at times surprisingly insightful collection of business and work advice room the founders of 37

I picked up this book on the recommendation of a coworker who really swore by its value. I'd looked at it in the stores, and considered it before, but he was truly passionate about it. Now, after reading it I see what he meant–this is a book that just contains a pile of useful advice for business and work.

ReWork is essentially a collection of short chapters that present bite–sized chunks of business and work advice from founders of 37 signals. They collect what they found over the years, propose solutions to problems plaguing business and people, and in short tell you how to apply what they learned.

In many cases the “here's what we learned being wonderfully successful” books arrive me nuts, since they usually self–promoting, arrogant, and usually not as applicable as the authors would like you to believe. Let's face it, they're usually self–promotion devices.

This book is not one of those books.

This book is two guys saying "here, guess what we found" and helping you truly relate and understand their insights.  They're you – or who you will be.

Collected into broad categories, the advice here is practical, insightful, and often tackle strange, stupid, yet persistent assumptions people have about work and business. We all know meetings can waste time–yet we keep holding them (and I'm certainly guilty of that). We all know we focus too much on irrelevant details, or try to do too much–yet we keep doing it. This book is basically here to tell you things you should do, and help you confront the stupid stuff we all know we've been doing.

We don't need to make our products do everything. The usual job review process really doesn't work. Sometimes you have to say no to customers. There's a lot of good advice here, but it's not just tell me what to do–it's also giving you instructions based on the experiences of people of applied the lessons in this book.

There's definitely going to be something this book for you, perhaps even some life–changing advice. Now admittedly, there's also going to be things that are incredibly obvious to you, and that you're already doing. This is not a book that makes you go “oh wow, I never thought of that” so much as it makes you nod, and realize important truths we don't always admit or know how to–and it tells us how to address.

Would I recommend this book? Definitely, for the right people.

This is a book for somebody with some business and career experience who doesn't want to make the same old mistakes, has realized that some business and employment practices are working, and is open to some insights. You definitely need to have some experience to ply the lessons in this book, if only to know more about some of the stupid things of the book recommend you not do.

This is also book you don't want to read if you're not willing to apply its advice. The book is when to challenge you, it's going to push you, and it’s going to give you uncomfortable but useful insights.

If this sounds like you, my advice is to buy this book, and see if you feel it's worth keeping–in my case I have an electronic copy that I'm definitely keeping around so I can use the bookmarks. If you don't like this book, or find you had many of the same insights, it would be very useful to re-gifted to other people who may need them.

So are you waiting for? Or do I have to tell you about the dangers of procrastination?

– Steven Savage