Saturday, July 31, 2010

Book Review: Rework

This was one of the best, most fun, and inspiring books I've read in a long time.  It's written by a couple of guys who run a web-based business and it filled with their lessons on how to run a company.  But even though I work for the government and not a private company, I still found it great.  Much of what they have to say is just about how they way people work today is often ridiculous and counter-productive.  I think the "Don't Treat People Like 13 Year Olds" should be standard reading in every IT Department (why is it that so often something useful that's only a mild security risk gets disabled and people find themselves resorting to things that are bigger security risks?).

The book is short, but consciously so.  The authors cut the number of words in half between the second-to-last version and the final version.  Yet there's no chance that doubling the size would have made it any better.  And that's a pretty good summary of their advice.  Do what needs to be done and focus on making that part the best part.  You can have a hot dog stand without condiments or drinks or a colorful umbrella, but not without hot dogs.  Send people home at 5; fire the workaholics; resumes don't actually tell you anything (nor does GPA or school attended or years of experience).  Bottom line: there's a lot of truth in this book that almost everyone I know understands and yet somehow gets smothered in most of the institutions we work for.  I'd like to give this book to just about everyone I know who holds a job.

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