Rework by Jason Fried

What if your business didn’t need to be big to succeed? What if you could focus on what’s most important? What if you didn’t even need a business plan?

These are some of the questions that are pondered by Jason Fried. In Rework, he answers them in surprising ways. He goes against the conventions of ‘bigger is better’ and ‘build and exit’. The book argues that you can stay small, be very profitable and enjoy your work.

Fix your own Problem

Do you really need to listen to your clients? That’s the question that Fried proposes in the chapter called ‘GO’. Why not solve your own problem.

That’s what he did at his own company (37signals). They build a project management tool called Basecamp. They looked at what they were missing from existing software and what a small team like theirs would value most. No research, no case studies, no interviews. They just build it and put it out there. Today more than 3 million companies use it.

Because they did no research they had no excuses to not put their product out there. The feedback also was much faster (i.e. talk to the person next to you). And now when people request new features, they don’t even write it down. They wait for something to be requested many times, check if it’s really something that fits with their own requests (e.g. if it’s really something a small business needs) and only then built it.

De-commoditize your Product

Queal is different from its competitors because we offer more variation, better service and the best quality ingredients. But these ‘facts’ are not what customers care about. If someone is really out for the price, they may find a competitor who offers a similar product for a lower price. And that’s why you need to de-commoditize your product.

You can do this by putting yourself into the product. The competition can copy many things, but never the you in your product. It’s the feeling that people get from your product that matters as much as the rational considerations.

At Queal, we started doing stories which showcase how people use our shakes. And we will show more from ourselves and why we ourselves love to drink Queal. And whenever customers interact with us, they will get a personal response, because we truly care for them.


If you like what you’re reading, you may also enjoy The Four Hour Work Week and The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.