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Jul 22, 2019 13:07:20

Notes: Rework, Jason Fried

by @basilesamel PATRON | 910 words | 457🔥 | 508💌

Basile Samel

Current day streak: 457🔥
Total posts: 508💌
Total words: 232762 (931 pages 📄)


1. The new reality

"Today anyone can be in business". Rework is a book for anyone, but not for everyone. It's designed for people wanting to start or running a business, independently of your financial, social, geographical, or professional situation.


1. Ignore the real world

The real world is a toxic place where dreams are slaughtered by those who are too coward to try. Somebody else's reality doesn't have to be yours, so define your own reality with your own existence and ignore the rest.

2. Learning from mistakes is overrated

Failing for the sake of it is not okay. Iterate over what works: success compounds.

3. Planning is guessing

Don't plan, always be improvising. Reality can only be predicted on a short or extremely long term.

4. Why grow?

Your company size is a vanity metric. Growing increases business complexity, and going leaner down the road is even harder. Stay small as long as it remains sustainable.

5. Workaholism

Working too much is getting less things done. Always go deep or go out.

6. Enough with "entrepreneurs"

Being an entrepreneur is now at anyone's reach, the term doesn't mean anything anymore.


1. Make a dent in the universe

Greatness originates from purpose. Make something that improves someone else's life with what you already have.

2. Scratch your own itch

Make something you'd use yourself. Developing a profitable business takes years, you don't want to spend them doing things you don't want to do.

3. Start making something

Ideas are worthless, execution is everything.

4. No time is no excuse

There is always time to use differently to serve a purpose dear to you. It doesn't have to be a lot, just spend time wisely and it will eventually compounds.

5. Draw a line in the sand

Never forget your why. Share your stands openly to attract the right people and make the right choices.

6. Mission statement impossible

Always align your acts and objectives with your mission statement. Empty words are worth nothing.

7. Outside money is Plan Z

Raising money is giving up control and focus. Quality and sustainability should always come first.

8. You need less than you think

Stay lean, stay frugal. Learn to act fast with limited means.

9. Start a business, not a startup

"Actual businesses worry about profit from day one."

10. Building to flip is building to flop

Don't look for exits, commit and focus on your customers. It's not a stepping stone, it's your life's work.

11. Less mass

The heavier you are, the harder it is to move. Always make sure you can act fast.


1. Embrace constraints

Learn to build with the tools at hand. What you think you don't have to do X is just an opportunity to be creative.

2. Build half a product, not a half-assed product

Don't multitask, do one thing amazing well and kill your darlings.

3. Start at the epicenter

Find your core activity and get it right first and foremost.

4. Ignore the details early on

Details are important but they can wait an iteration or two. Get real market feedback first.

5. Making the call is making progress

Take a decision now, don't wait. Thinking about it later before choosing will slow everything down. Take the leap as soon as possible. 

6. Be a curator

Quality has to prevail over quantity. Remove, then add.

7. Throw less at the problem

Always go for the simplest solution, decrease complexity, do less.

8. Focus on what won't change

Think in terms of First Principles.

9. Tone is in your fingers

The tool doesn't matter, content does. Just do the best you can with what you have.

10. Sell your by-products

"When you make something, you always make something else. [...] Everything has a by-product. Observant and creative business minds spot these by-products and see opportunities."

11. Launch now

Don't delay. Confront yourself to reality head-on, it's the only way to grow in the right direction.


1. Illusions of agreement

Instead of planning and reporting, make something: mockups, models, drawings, MVPs... create something the stakeholders can relate to.

2. Reasons to quit

Questions to ask yourself to know whether or not you should keep going: Why are you doing this? What problems are you solving? Is this actually useful? Are you adding value? Will this change behavior? Is there an easier way? What could you be doing instead? Is it really worth it?

3. Interruption is the enemy of productivity

Deep Work, always: no distraction, no people, no communication tool, just the work.

4. Meetings are toxic

Avoid meetings, or keep them short and solution-driven.

5. Good enough is fine

Keep your solution simple. Just enough to get the job done, iterate later.

6. Quick wins

Momentum = get something done, be happy about it, and move on to the next thing. Don't wait.

7. Don't be a hero

Learn to quit, don't waste time chasing a chimera.

8. Go to sleep

Sleep deprivation is never ok.

9. Your estimates suck

Break your project down into tiny chunks (~ one work day) before estimating.

10. Long lists don't get done

Break down long lists into smaller ones as to avoid feeling overwhelmed and don't forget to prioritize your items.

11. Make tiny decisions

Decisions that are too far-fetched prevent you from changing course. Take tinier decisions at the smallest scale available, this way you can easily fix them if you're wrong.

From Basile Samel's collection:

  • 1

    @basilesamel Epic list :)

    Jack Lyons avatar Jack Lyons | Jul 22, 2019 13:18:58
  • 1

    @basilesamel - love the bullet points, thanks for sharing.

    Brian Ball avatar Brian Ball | Jul 22, 2019 07:32:36
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