Book review: Rework, by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson

The iconoclastic new book by the 37signals duo is not just bad but dangerous, says John Vincent.

If this book was just bad then maybe that would be OK, but I fear it may also be dangerous. There is a quote on the cover from guru and entrepreneur Seth Godin that reads: 'Ignore this at your peril.' The main messages the reader might get from such a statement is 'ignore this' and 'peril' - these provide inadvertently pertinent warnings.

Rework: Change the way you work forever is written by Jason Fried, who co-founded a small to medium-sized software company called 37signals in Chicago, and by David Heinemeier Hansson, who joined later. 37signals is a famous company in the world of US tech start-ups, because of its launch of an open-source web application framework called Ruby on Rails.

The authors are demigods in the space that is known as Web 2.0, and they have many 20-something devotees in the US. They are also prolific bloggers, and their first business self-help book was apparently well received. They are happy to be called arrogant, and famously responded to their critics by putting up a slide at a conference that said 'fuck off'.

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