The first book I read this year, and it was good. Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson managed to balance the brevity and depth of their thoughts and keep their vision clear.
Instead of bringing new ideology or another corporate bullshit standard, they offer common sense as a universal tool—like a Swiss knife—to make decisions and handle chaos in any situation.
Their book is an easy-to-digest and ready-to-go manual for those who finally want to make a change at work and feel good about it rather than stressed, anxious, and humiliated.
Here are my ten takeaways from it:
- Bury the hustle, go with calm. Calm is meetings as a last resort. Calm is asynchronous first, real-time second.
- No goals. Goals are fake. Nearly all of them are artificial targets set for the sake of setting targets.
- Deliver updates in six-week cycles, no sprints. Fix a deadline and budget, flex the scope.
- Do good work. Most of the time it’s enough to stand out.
- Less is more. Stop chasing many and much, choose just one target, and aim.
- Protect your focus. Depth, not breadth, is where mastery is often found.
- Productivity is a myth. Filling every moment with something to do is all it’s about these days. Dump it.
- No public calendars. Time is the most valuable thing we have. We don’t have the right to decide how our teammates should spend it. We may think it’s a meeting, they consider it’d better be an email.
- No all-nigters and 80-hours weeks. Sleep, eat, and rest enough. In the long run, work is not more important than sleep.
- Hire only those who fit your mindset. No rock stars and fancy titles would do if you don’t feel right about the person applying for a position.
I came to most of these ideas while running my design studio. It was good to see that an ocean away there’s a company run by similar ideas and principles.