I picked up a couple of books the other day and this was one of them. Its authors, Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson are the founders of a company called 37 signals. These guys are perhaps best known for their immensely popular web based Project Management tool, Basecamp. I’m only about 40 pages into the book so far but I felt like a quick post about it was in order.
Of the few topics they’ve touched on so far, it’s almost as though they’ve been able to channel some of my own thoughts. Topics like ‘Planning is guessing’, notes how plans are really, as the title denotes, just a series of guesses – strategic guesses, financial guesses etc. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t plan. You should. However, your plans should be flexible enough to allow you to embrace current opportunities and allow you to pivot if and when a change may be needed.
They also touch on topics such as ‘growth’ in a section titled, ‘Why grow?’, where they make a case – citing their own experience at 37 signals – where sometimes a company’s ‘perfect size’ might not be big number and why growing to gargantuan proportions is often the default goal of many companies, and how this approach is often at the company’s own peril, or at least at the peril of their employees and culture.
Another interesting topic is something they refer to as ‘Workaholism’, how throwing sheer hours at problems, rather than applying innovative thinking to find efficiencies to get the work done smarter is too often the approach; and how this approach is not only accepted, its often commended and even revered.
Anyway, great stuff so far. I’m looking forward to checking out the rest of it, at which point I will likely create a follow up post on how it turned out.