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How to accomplish more with fewer resources

Jason Fried, David Heinemeier Hansson

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Rework Summary

Hi, welcome to bookey. Today we will unlock the book Rework.

Big companies love to elaborate on formulating business plans, analyzing competition, searching for investors, and so on. However, 37signals, a software company with neither budget nor advertising, few staff and salespersons, does just the opposite and is thriving with a huge profit. It provides fewer products but earns more than its competitors. Even though the company had fewer than sixty employees, they brought in millions in profit every year. Maybe you’re shaking your head and don’t believe a word, but this is not fake news.

37signals, now known as Basecamp, is a private-owned Internet application company based in Chicago. Its small team develops simple and specialized software, and has launched several software with millions of users. The company’s valuation once reached hundreds of billions of dollars at its peak.

37signals is exceptional in many aspects. For example, its business philosophy is to reject growth, meetings, and boards of directors. Its employees are spread out in 32 different cities on two continents, doing home office and communicating through online group chat. Nonetheless, after two economic recessions, a burst bubble, and several business-model shifts, to everyone’s surprise, the company remains profitable.

You must be curious: How can such a small company that runs counter to the traditional business model make it? What kind of business model makes them stand out in the intense competition of the Internet industry? Today’s bookey Rework will answer these questions.

The authors, Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, co-founded the software company, 37signals, which is known for its high efficiency. Since Jason advocates minimalism, believes in the beauty of simplicity, and respects the simple and honest way, he applies these ideas to his business and its product development.

The minimalist values are also reflected in the creation of this book. The authors made it a collection of wise and easy-to-understand bite-sized articles, a welcome breath of fresh air among a bunch of management and marketing books. More importantly, it is so practical and realistic that we can turn to it anytime for reference.

This book has been highly acclaimed since it got published. American popular science writer Kathy Sierra said: “I tried so hard to keep myself from tearing off every page and stick all of them on the wall.” Writer Penelope Trunk commented: “Appealingly intimate, as if you’re having coffee with the authors.” The founding partner of a well-known American investment firm Jessica Livingston even suggested: “This book is not only a must-read for starters, but also a good reference for everyone at work.”

In this bookey, we will introduce the minimalist business principles of 37signals in four parts, namely, business strategies, marketing strategies, product positioning, and corporate culture. Let’s see how the company managed to accomplish more with fewer resources.

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