A team of entrepreneurs (Jason Fried and DHH) write a book with all the quick and straightforward things you can do succeed when setting up a new business. They are advocates for small no-gimmicks business thinking and inspire readers into action with solid advice and experience after building a few succesful companies and teams from zero.
Finished: Jan 2018
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📌 Short review
This read is a little counterintuitive without being unreasonable which is becoming unsual in similar business books. The way it is delivered is a love or hate affair, I do like this kind of writing, zero fluf, you can open the open the book in any random page and learn something. Of course, you get the most of it by reading linearly and in context and many of the lessons are there for you to implement today. In a very similar way to their legendary blog 37signals, this book became an instant classic between a new generation of entrepreneurs, it breaks the mold by making the case that personal attitudes make or break a small business such as the one the authors setup early in their carrers. This book has a sister publication remote that complements it well and touches on the idea of a remote workforce.
While there are many books about habit building, some are mostly hacks and tricks that are well intended but lack stickiness. This book is unusually approachable considering the depth in which explains this discipline. Many of the techniques described here were learned through the writer's own experience and underpinned by years of research. Clear's approach is definitely a great addition to the habit building literature. However, I think in some parts the books lacks cohesion (it is a collection of blog posts) and depth(mostly on the final chapters) but the effort to condense the laws at the end of each section helps the reader and is suitable as reference material.
When you are starting
Start at the epicenter: Begin with the stuff you HAVE to do, the hotdogs stand, what can't be removed
Ignore detail early on: Decide details later, save time for a while, low resolution work, big picture
On making decisions
Make call is make progress: Decide and move forward, perfect answers won't come on time, correct later
Be a curator: Make conscious decisions of what to leave out. Streamline
Throw less at the problem: Trim down and polish what's left
What's your product or service?
Focus on what won't change: Things people will want ten years from now and today. Stay in style
Tone is in your fingers: Comes from you, swing matters not the golf club, gear not needed to get started
Sell your byproducts: Blog posts, paperback, books, experience and knowledge, workshop series, --there's probably something you haven't thought about that could sell too
When to launch
When is finished? Put out there. Worry about luxuries later. Make something great through iterations -- stop imagining what is going to work find out for real
Illusions of agreement: Remove layers of abstraction, get to something real everything is a distraction
Why. What problem are you solving, cool wears off, adding value?. Will it change behavior? Easier way? Is it worth it? Don't be timid but be informal --Don't throw good time after bad work
Interruption is the enemy of productivity: Reach Alone zone, no mind shifting
Meetings are toxic: Costly in time and concentration . set timer, fewer people, clear agenda, specific problem, no conference room, real changes, assign responsible
Good enough is fine: Get the most from the least, Judo it. simple mundane solutions. Timeliness more important than polish or even quality