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Here’s the notes from the session by a very engaging Jason Fried (@jasonfried on Twitter), the Founder of 37 signals, a successful company developing simple and effective applications for the web.

A book for small businesses, freelancers, contractors with something that is manageable.

Our company seeks the appropriate size.

The Book – it’s written so it can be read in a couple of hours – it’s short – you’re supposed to working not reading! Get some ideas and move on!

The Take-Down Chapter
Removing some of the myths in business such as “fail early, fail often” – worst advice! Learn from what works well for you.

Workaholism – working late hours – should be the exception – happens too often as the norm.

Planning = Guessing! Business Plan = Business “Guess”

Get rid of the word ‘entrepreneurship’ – too long for a start! (Ha!) Comes with too much baggage.

“Go” Chapter
‘Draw a line in the sand’ – have a strong point of view and don’t be afraid of it. Too few businesses have a point of view. When you stand for something, decisions are easier! People are good at making things hard in business because people don’t make a stand. Once that’s clear, things are easier.

Start a business rather than a startup. There’s no such thing as a startup. There’s business and that’s it. You’re in business rather than being in a startup.

Progress ChapterThings you can do to keep things going.

Start at the epicentre – what is the core of what you’re doing?

Be a curator – say no more than you say yes. e.g. a museum says “no” to many art works – think of your products/services as those you say yes to – do few and get on with it.

Stop interrupting people! Collaboration is collaboration – respect others.

A big part of productivity is NOT WORKING. Sleep. Get more of it. We don’t talk enough about this in our industry

Your estimates SUCK. The idea that you can estimate something for more than 10 minutes is ridiculous. Which is OK – it’s just be aware of it.

Long lists don’t get done. Often some of list is out of date. Doing 10 things is good – we should feel good about this – rather than there’s so much else to do. Cap lists at 10.

Shouldn’t be obsessed with competitors – better in part to not know them at all. Focusing on them leads you to being a follower quickly. Don’t read industry stuff – e.g. TechCrunch – bad for your health (ha!).

Evolution Chapter
Balance between developing your product via serving current customers and developing your product for new clients. Don’t develop for current and lose opportunity of the new (customers).

Innovation is highly overrated – more important: the goal of creating useful products – which may end up by being innovative.

Hiring: A recent (successful) application was a website put together as a pitch for working with 37signals.

Apologising (language commentary) – if you screw up as a company – say you’re sorry if you mean it. Have your customers believe your apology – don’t say it if you don’t mean it.

Great session, engaging and insightful. Packed house too! Standing room only at the back.

Book details:
More information from others who were at this session on – use search tag: #rework

Thanks to Fernando Maclen for the photo!

Session Background:
13 March 2010 from 10:00 AM to 10:20 AM
Location: Day Stage
Austin Convention Center
Austin TX 78701
From the founders of the trailblazing software company 37signals, here is a different kind of business book – one that explores a new reality. Today, anyone can be in business. Tools that used to be out of reach are now easily accessible. Technology that cost thousands is now just a few bucks or even free. Stuff that was impossible just a few years ago is now simple. That means anyone can start a business. And you can do it without working miserable 80-hour weeks or depleting your life savings. You can start it on the side while your day job provides all the cash flow you need. Forget about business plans, meetings, office space – you don’t need them.

With its straightforward language and easy-is-better approach, Rework is the perfect playbook for anyone who’s ever dreamed of doing it on their own. Hardcore entrepreneurs, small-business owners, people stuck in day jobs who want to get out, and artists who don’t want to starve anymore will all find valuable inspiration and guidance in these pages. It’s time to rework work.

Happy days to you

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