Rework: Summary and Review


Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson

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A collection of essays from the Basecamp founders on how to run a “small” startup.

The book mainly serves as an antidote to suite-and-tie advice that was tailored for big bureaucracies that you unconsciously assume will work for small startups. This book was a major contributor to the Silicon Valley ethos in the early 2010s, though nowadays if you are familiar with “Lean Startup” the type of work culture espoused in this book will not come as a surprise for you. Unfortunately, most companies still don’t optimize for this kind of high-performance work culture, so it is a worthwhile read to get up to speed on what the cutting edge looks like.

The tone is very dogmatic which can be off-putting to some people, though as with any business-y book the point of reading it is to be exposed to new ideas, reflect on it, and thoughtfully choose the parts that make the most sense for you.


This book is a collection of essays so you can’t really summarize it. This article by Blake Fletcher has a more detailed breakdown.

Selected quotes

Henry Ford learned of a process for turning wood scraps from the production of Model T’s into charcoal briquets. He built a charcoal plant and Ford Charcoal was created (later renamed Kingsford Charcoal). Today, Kingsford is still the leading manufacturer of charcoal in America.

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