Proof Book Club: Rework.


“When you build a product or a service, you make the call on hundreds of tiny decisions each day. If you’re solving someone else’s problem, you’re constantly stabbing in the dark. When you solve your own problem, the light comes on. You know exactly what the right answer is.”

I’ve personally picked up David Heinemeier Hansson and Jason Fried’s book Rework dozens of times of the years as a point of reference in thinking about operations and our creative approach here at Proof. Last month at Proof, a bought a copy for everyone on the team and we all tackled it for our Proof Book Club.

There’s a stark contrast to Creative Confidence’s “Fail early, fail often, and grow from your failures” mentality, with an ideology that you should strive to succeed early by putting intentionality, support, and advice into an idea or business. Learning from your successes has proven that when you begin with success, continued success will follow.

Rework celebrates and encourages the ideology of a balanced work and life. Workaholics aren’t good for any company and – especially – themselves. Doing great, intentional work with a true focus on the “purpose” is the mark of a successful and impactful person.

A few inspiring quotes and key takeaways:

  • “Evolution doesn’t linger on past failures, it’s always building upon what worked. So should you.”
  • “When you start anything new, there are forces pulling you in a variety of directions. There’s the stuff you COULD do, the stuff you WANT to do, and the stuff you HAVE to do. The stuff you HAVE to do is where you begin. Start at the epicenter.”
  • “We’re all terrible estimators. We think we can guess how long something will take, when we really have no idea. We see everything going according to a best-case scenario, without the delays that inevitably pop up. Reality never sticks to best-case scenarios.”
  • “You need an environment where everyone feels safe enough to be honest when things get tough. You need to know how far you can push someone. You need to know what people mean when they say something.”
  • “Rockstar environments develop out of trust, autonomy, and responsibility They’re the result of giving people the privacy, workspace, and tools they deserve. Great environments show respect for the people who do the work and how they do it.”

Be real, be authentic, and – above all – make sure the work you do is honest and serves a purpose; even if that purpose is your own. We can all use this reminder from time to time. No doubt Rework will be one we continue to look back to again and again.

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