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Rework by Fried and Heinemeier Hansson

There are 88 insights or tips from the authors of Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson.  These are just 15 but they are our favourites


  1. Embrace constraints – stop whining that you don’t have enough time, money, people, experience etc etc etc.  If you have limited resources you have to make do with what you’ve got.  Be creative – you have no room for waste.
  2. Start at the epicentre – the stuff that you have to do is the most important thing to focus on, they are your must dos.  The should dos, could dos and would dos just would not exist if the must dos were no longer there.  Think what a hot dog stand would offer without the hotdog?
  3. Decisions are progress – if you don’t take decisions you end up with piles!  Don’t sleep on it – get in the habit of making a decision, then moving on.  The perfect answer is not just around the corner.
  4. Throw less at a problem – when things aren’t working the tendency is to throw more effort into making it work, but if you throw less at it you’ll be forced to take tough decisions and sort out what really matters.
  5. Focus on what won’t change – instead of looking for the next BIG thing pay attention to things that will last.  The core of your business should be built around the things that people will want today AND in 10 years time.
  6. Interruption is the enemy – if you get your best work done early in the mornings or late at night it is likely you are not getting much work done during normal working hours due to interruptions.  Have an open door policy by all means; except when it’s closed!
  7. Meetings are toxic – set a timer, invite the minimum of people, have a clear agenda, begin with a specific problem, meet at the site of the problem, end with a solution and make someone responsible for implementation.
  8. Estimates are fantasies – that just a minute job is never just a minute.  We are notoriously rubbish as guessing the time it will take even for small jobs.  It’s no wonder the Chanel tunnel was a year late opening, that Wembley was 8 years late and the Scottish parliament building – is it actually open???  Break the big job into small pieces the 12 week project into 12 weekly projects or the 5 day project into 5 working days.  It’s much easier to estimate that way.
  9. Sell your By Products – There is a by product from everything we do or make even if that is intellectual property.  Rather than waste make it a by product and sell it.
  10. Good enough is fine – most problems can be solved simply.  Take an elevator to get a bird eye view; you don’t need to climb Everest even if it does challenge you.
  11. Decommoditise your product – your products your services may be the same that others can deliver but what makes yours unique is you.  Your competitors cannot replicate the you in your product or service.
  12. Underdo the competition – don’t try and out manoeuvre, or out do the competition, keep your solutions simple and be proud of that.
  13. Say no by default – people often avoid the n word in favour of yes because it makes them feel uncomfortable.  Be honest and explain why you are saying no.  People are surprisingly understanding when you take your time to explain your point of view.  You can’t be everyone’s friend after all.
  14. Out teach the competition – teaching helps you form a bond that you don’t get from traditional marketing tactics.  Big companies will keep their secrets – small companies can out manoeuvre through teaching.
  15. Marketing is not a department – it is absolutely everything you do and everything you say.   



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