# Rework Summary: Get better at your tech work

# Rework Summary: Get better at your tech work

Summary of the original book by founders of Basecamp David Heinemeier Hansson and Jason Fried

Rework : Change the way you work forever


  • Don't plan too much. Figure out things on the go.
  • Don't think of growing too much. Find a size that fits your team and keep with it. In long run agile and flexible teams win over big chunky ones
  • Don't promote workaholism. Make people work reasonable hours.


  • Solve the problem you yourself face
  • Draw a line in the sand. Stand on your points what you think make sense. Keep it simple and don't listen too much to what other folks want.
  • If you want to start something, squeeze some extra hours. If it continues, carry it on or otherwise life goes on.
  • Try avoiding taking outside money. Reasons -
    • You give up control
    • Cashing out begins to trump building a quality business
    • Spending others money is addictive
    • Its usually a bad deal
    • Customers becomes the last priority
    • It is incredibly distracting
  • Always ask do you really need it or there is better simple of doing something.

    There is nothing wrong with being frugal

  • Start a business not a startup. Think like an actual business from day one. Not thinking spending someone else's money. Think about revenues from day one.
  • Have a commitment strategy not an exit strategy. Don't think about selling the business. Enjoy making it better for customers not worrying about who will buy it.
  • Keeping mass low so that we can quickly change anything. The more expensive things are to change the less likely we are going to do it.


  • Embrace constrains - make things out better for yourself, even with less resources
  • Build half product not half assed product. Cutting good stuff to make great stuff.
  • Start with the most important stuff by asking " If I took this away, would what I am selling still exist ?"
  • Don't focus on details early on
  • Make decisions fast don't pile them up
  • Keep looking for stuff to remove , simplify and streamline. Be like curator and keep less things
  • Throw less at problems, instead cut short.
  • Focus on what won't change and don't follow what's fashion. Fashion would fade away and thing that people really want 10 yrs. from now would stay
  • Try to sell the byproducts as well
  • Launch now and don't try to delay because of few left overs.


  • Illusion of agreement, always talk in diagrams and ask people to have some level of prototype/wireframe when presenting things
  • Ensure that what you are doing that really matters -
    1. Why are you doing this ?
    2. What problem are you solving ?
    3. is this actually useful ? - Don't confuse enthusiasm with usefulness.
    4. Are you adding value ? - Not just features
    5. will this change behavior ?
    6. Is there an easier way ?
    7. What could you be doing instead ? Something else could be a priority
    8. Is it really worth it ?
  • To get some serious work done you got to avoid interruptions. Collaboration is another from interruption.
  • Meeting should be avoided at all cost.
    • Set a timer
    • Invite minimum people
    • Always have a clear agenda
    • begin with a specific problem
    • Make someone responsible for implementing it
  • Have a good enough solution that gets the job done instead of having a complicated one.
  • Get in the habit of having small victories / Quick wins
  • If a problem is taking too much time, Give it away - don't be a hero.
  • When the situation isn't right and you have to make a hard call. Sleep over it.
  • Don't estimate over large things.
  • Don't have long to-do list → have bunch of smaller to- do list
  • Make tiny decisions instead of BIG ones


  • Don't Copy
  • Make yourself part of the product or service so that its hard for others to copy that aspect.
  • Pick a fight but Focus on yourself instead of the competitors, be more simple and less do things as they do.


  • Say NO by default. Make sure your product stays right for you.
  • Let your customer OUTGROW you. As they grow big, say no to their demands of changing the product to their needs.
  • Don't confuse enthusiasm with priority. Let new ideas cool off before jumping straight in to implement them.
  • Create products that are at home good. Aiming at long-term relationships.
  • Don't write down customer requests, If they are needed to be remembered then you will remember them anyways.


  • Obscurity is a good things. It gives you space to try new things without being under the microscope.
  • Build an audience around your product as form of repeat customers without need of marketing or ad
  • Teaching is a good way to outmaneuver your competition. E.g. Garry V
  • Share everything you know like recipes of famous chefs
  • Show your audience behind the scene of how you work. This will develop a bond making you see as humans not faceless companies.
  • Be genuine with what you have and what you are. Be upfront about your shortcomings.
  • Get featured in small publication instead of spamming big media's. The small editorial will let you get out quickly and picker up by audiences quickly.
  • Give some product for free. Free trials gets people to Come back with cash.
  • Marketing is not a department, it's the sum of everything you do.

Start building your audience today. Start getting people interested in what you have to say. And keep at it.


  • Before hiring, try to do the job yourself first until it wears you down and start hurting not just for pleasure.
  • Hire slowly
  • Don't hire just based on resume, hire based on personalized cover letter / note.
  • Years of experience are irrelevant, after +1 year the graph flattens out.
  • Avoid delegators, they make up more work when they run out. Make everybody do work.
  • Own the bad news. Let people hear out from you now instead of sweeping it under the carpet.
  • Hire people who can manage themselves, don't need daily check-ins and set there own goals
  • Try the candidate in a real manner. Like a test drive

Damage control

  • Be quick in the response
  • Apologize genuinely
  • Make everyone interact with customers and put them out in front line. This helps them learn from bad mistakes and also get them motivated when customer appreciate
  • Take a deep breathe before responding promptly to any new change or customer response to it


  • Culture is by product of consistent behavior
  • Decisions are temporary. Don't fixate in planning for problem that don't exist now
  • Don't hire Rockstars, Build Rockstar environment out of trust , autonomy and responsibility
  • Don't manage people like they are 13 years old. Let them manage their time themselves
  • Send people home at five. Shouldn't expect someone job to be his entire life.
  • Don't create policies right away someone does a mistake. Only create them is a situation happens over and over again
  • Always sound like yourself, like you are talking to your friends without extra sugar coated layer of professionalism
  • Don't use these four letter words -


      Once Uttered it makes it difficult to find solution

  • ASAP is poison


  • Inspiration is a magical thing, a productivity multiplier, motivator. But it won't wait for you. Inspiration is a now thing. If it grabs you, grab it right back and put it to work.