One of my biggest gripes about the early reviews to come out about Rework is that they had no substance. Words like "inspirational", "brilliant", and "rethink" generally trigger my BS alarm, so I really didn't know what to expect with Rework. I've been reading Signal vs. Noise, the design and usability blog by 37signals, for a few years now, and I've had plenty of time to become acquainted with Jason and David's style. That I even refer to them by their first names should clue you in to their style. They come across in writing as they do in their live webcasts and presentations: familiar. Point is, I've been irked by the longest by those vapid early reviews to come out. They meant nothing to me. Hopefully you'll find this review more much helpful for determining whether or not Rework is worth your time.
TL;DR Version: Buy the book if you have no idea what 37signals stands for. If you do, expect SvN on paper.
Long Version: If you've never heard of 37signals or...
This book is filled with some great advice for those who want to start their own business, have their own business, or are just interested in the subject.
As a fan of 37 Signals the company and a frequent reader of their blog, I was excited when Rework was first announced (so excited I pre-ordered it). From the initial descriptions, I was excited to read a full-length book from Jason Fried and David Heinemeir Hansson. My hope was that they would expand on the ideas frequently discussed on their blog and elaborate on some more of their personal experiences in running a very successful small company.
Unfortunately, if you are familiar with the authors, their blog, or their previous book "Getting Real", then very little of the content in this book is new. All of the lessons and chapters feel like retreads of previous material, even down to some of the analogies such as "be like a chef" or "be a curator".
So while I think some of the lessons in this book...
SECOND REVISION: 37Signals is now ACTIVELY MANAGING the comments about this horrid book. They sent a barrage of fanboys to this page to "unlike" this post to move it down the page. There it is in a nutshell folks. Everything I said in this original review -- about 37Signals being an empty suit -- is proven true. Apparently, 37Signals' advice to "pick a fight," means to pick a fight with anyone but them.
REVISION: Have you noticed that every time a negative review is posted about this book, the book is magically bombarded with positive one- and two-line reviews that "move" that negative review down the page and keep the book in the four- to five-star range? There's your 37Signals pathology. We don't have to have a good product as long as people THINK we have a good product. We can be paper-thin content-wise, but as long as we keep our four-star rating -- and keep negative reviews buried -- we'll continue to be "successful." Classic.
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