Rework might be one of the densest books I've read. There's no jabbering and not an unnecessary word. This makes it a difficult book to make a summary for :) If you are looking to start (or already have) a business I highly recommend this book full of practical principles that can be used to "make a dent in the universe".
What follows is what I kept: a line or two for (almost) every chapter of the book. Hopefully, this will inspire you to read the book if you have not, or jiggle your memory to get inspired if you already have read it.
Just because people say it can't be done doesn't mean it's true. That's their reality. Choose your own and just do it.
Despite what the common wisdom says, you learn better from your success. So do your best to succeed; don't fail to learn.
Don't get obsessed with plans; most of them don't work due to ... reality. So adapt appropriately, improvise, and don't (always) stick with the plan. (But keep in mind: "Plans are worthless, but planning is everything")
Another obsession is the obsession with getting bigger just for the sake of it. Take a step back and think: being small has advantages (less complex, leaner, less stressing). So stay small if it makes sense.
Workaholism is cool in our era but not productive. Productive means working smart not working much. When people need to leave on time, that's when they are productive (not the other way around).
"Entrepreneur" doesn't mean anything today, it's just another cool word.
Purpose leads to greatness. Create something that improves someone's life today, with what you have.
Create something fixing one of your annoyances. This way you know the pain points and you would enjoy working on fixing one of your issues.
Talking much is of no use. Creating something is all that matters.
If you want to do something, you will find time to do it. It doesn't have to be a lot of time. Time will compound if there's consistency.
Always remember your values. Share them widely to attract like-minded people and publicly commit to them.
Your acts and goals should align with your mission statement. Empty words are worth nothing.
Raising external money (e.g. venture capitalists) leads to giving up control and focus (e.g. investor meetings). Focus on quality work and profitability from day 0.
Use less and stay frugal. Learn to use limited resources and this will give you more time to figure things out on how to be profitable.
Aim to become profitable from day 0. Startups don't worry about profit and live in a parallel universe.
Focus on building something great. Don't focus on exits (i.e. selling your company).
Being small means you can move faster. Use this advantage.
Don't try to get to a complete agreement before you start. Create a mock, MVP, something you can show.
When something is getting too long to complete, ask yourself whether you should keep going. Is it worth it?
Work with no distractions (no emails, no people, no pings). Use dedicated times to communicate.
Keep meetings short and solution-driven.
Keep it simple. Solve the problem as simply as possible. Iterate later.
Get something done and move to the next thing.
Rest is important. Sleep deprivation is never ok.
Break your projects into small chunks. You can only estimate short-term things. So break everything into short-term tasks.
Same things as tasks. Long lists don't get completed. They overwhelm. Keep lists short and always prioritize.
Find your voice and get inspired by others. Copying without understanding is useless.
Become an integral part of your product. No one can copy you.
Become controversial when you believe in something. This can get you publicity, acquire true allies (and enemies.)
Do less, but better. Do things differently.
Focus on your product, not on competition.
You know where your product is headed. Say no when customers ask something that is not compatible with the direction.
Adding features for a few large customers eventually will hurt your product. The product will become less friendly for new (smaller) clients. Remember you can't please everyone by building everything.
Don't rush to implement new ideas. Give them time to mature and think whether it fits with the overall vision (not the current emotion).
Do not oversell your product. It should not disappoint after being unpacked.
Feature requests that matter will be repeated again and again. No need to write them down.
Being controversial is a great promotion. Try it.
Build an audience that comes back to check what you've built (or have to say). Better than ads.
Break rapport by teaching. There's always knowledge to share. There's no better customer promotion than building trust using education.
Share everything as chefs do. Even if you share a recipe, only you can implement it best.
Show how your products are built. More understanding leads to more trust.
Being vulnerable is real. Don't be afraid to show you make mistakes.
Be personal beats typical press releases every time.
Give something free and make it that good that is addictive. Works every time.
Everything is marketing. Your logo, your website, your blog.
Success is a process, not an event. Be consistent over time.
- Do it yourself first Hire only when you know what the job position entails.
- Hire when it hurts Hire when you can't do it yourself anymore (e.g. due to limited time, or decreased quality).
- Pass on great people Great people you don't need is a recipe for disaster.
- Strangers at a cocktail party Hiring too quickly tends to destroy working environments and productivity (like strangers at a cocktail party)
- Resumes are ridiculous Resumes are full of lies usually. Cover letters are usually better due to their more personal nature.
- Years of irrelevance How many years someone does something does not show how well it's done (necessarily)
- Forget about formal education Schooling and education are different things. Don't limit yourself in schooling.
- Hire managers of one Self-driven people can manage themselves.
- Hire great writers Writing means putting your thoughts in order. Those people usually have clearer thinking.
- The best are everywhere Don't limit hires geographically. Talent does not concentrate in one place.
- Test-drive employees Hire people to work on mini-projects instead of hours-long interviews.
- Own your bad news Transparency leads to trust. Don't be afraid to share the news.
- Speed changes everything Customer support is a speed game. Reply fast. Even if you don't know the answer (to say that you will look into it).
- How to say you're sorry Explain the problem. Say what is your short-term fix. Explain the long-term fix.
- Put everyone on the front lines Interacting with customers is how everyone improves.
- Take a deep breath Own the changes you make. You can never please everyone. People will complain when you make changes.
- You don't create a culture Culture is the things you make consistently over time.
- Decisions are temporary Things change. Don't be afraid to make changes to things you decided in the past.
- Skip the rock stars Focus on building a rock start environment to cultivate rock stats.
- They're not thirteen As long as your employees perform and deliver, give them all the freedom and trust in the world.
- Send people home at 5 People that need to leave at a specific time stay productive. Working overtime should not be an option (or encouraged!).
- Don't scar on the first cut Don't create rules that oppress everybody because someone did something wrong. Create rules after repeated violations.
- Sound like you Write just like you talk. Don't act, don't try to sound serious.
- Four-letter words Avoid toxic words: need, must, can't, easy, just, only, fast
- ASAP is poison Don't use it (only in emergencies)