If you will read only one business book in your life, then this should be it. The authors Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson the founders of Basecamp, Highrise and more are offering an MBA in less than 271 pages. It is a beautiful testament to the counterculture thinking that is driving a real world business. The book offers advice completely contrary to what is being pitched by Silicon Valley and places like Y Combinator.
Each of the chapters are but a few pages with a pithy graphic that depicts what a Jedi master would tell his students. It asks "Do you really need 10 people or will two or three do for now?". It asks you to "focus on what won’t change" and highlights "workholism" in an industry that is in constant turmoil and hustling itself to death.
Basecamp is a unique organization, with a small team of self starters sticking together for decades making a greater impact than bigger organizations 3x their size. They argue rather than juice up on $ to become the next Goliath, be David and stay small.
Bigger orgs wish they could be as nimble as you.
The book is a plethora of timely information: Be a starter, scratch your own itch, don’t make excuses but for heavens sake start making something.
The book is not without its flaws. The two pages titled Everything is Marketing preaches that marketing is not a department but what you do 24/7. The authors argue that a company can get by without a marketing head and now Basecamp is looking for a marketing head (and customer services reps too). It cites examples like Amazon and the local sub guy down the street as business examples which come across as lazy researching.
We might be nitpicking, after all, there are no hard and fast rules in a business and no single source of truth. Taken from over 20 years in the software industry and several ups and downs cycles Rework is still a remarkable book , and the only book you need before you start your next project or company.