Rework Principles

    In the previous two articles, I wrote about the 37signals book Getting Real. This is a kind of philosophy and a successful approach to software development. I saw reviews that all these principles would not work, but I did not find a single contradiction in either the first book or the second. The second book contains many repetitions of the first, but it still makes sense to read both books in the original. Below I cited Rework ideas that are not described in Getting Real.

    Ignore the real world

    If you ever heard that in the real world your idea will not work, then you know what it is about. A lot of your friends will say that everything that you conceived is utopia and that nothing will work. But you need to forget about it. After all, in the real world you cannot have a dozen employees distributed across eight different cities on two continents.
    The real world is not a place, but just an excuse not to act. It has nothing to do with you.

    About workaholics

    For some reason, it is accepted here that being a workaholic is good. For a workaholic, any amount of work cannot be great. Such workaholism is stupid and harmful. If you work more, this does not mean that you bring more benefits. It just means that you work harder.

    As a result, workaholics create more problems than they solve. Workaholics are sure to burn out and the consequences can be very serious. A workaholic tries to solve a problem simply by spending more time on it, i.e., compensating for intellectual laziness by brute force. These people are not trying to be effective.
    All normal employees who do not have a habit of staying up late have the feeling that they are not finalizing. This brings poison to the team.

    Do not go in cycles in one task.

    If suddenly the task takes you not 2 hours, but 16, it is quite possible that you are doing something wrong. Invite colleagues and discuss this issue. No need to waste time; it demotivates and deprives you of enthusiasm.
    Go to bed

    Work at night is a bad idea. Usually we like to work at night or in the early morning or at the weekend. Why? Because nobody distracts us at these moments. This can be avoided if you arrange half of your work day in such a way that no one distracts you. You are not a slave to your phone, skype and mail.
    Bad sleep results in:
    • Stubbornness. It seems easier to continue; the finish line seems like a permanent mirage.
    • Loss of ingenuity. In a sleepy state, good ways to solve problems do not come into your head.
    • The lack of drive. When tired, your brain will not want to take on complex tasks, but will want to perform simple ones.
    • Irrationality. In a sleepy state, you can cause moral harm to those around you.
    • Bad decisions.

    Some people even brag about this fact: I did not sleep all night and did this. There is nothing to brag about: this feat still comes around in the further support of the product.

    Assumptions and plans do not work

    Everything that you plan does not come true. You do not know how much this or that task will take in reality. You don’t even know how long your shopping trip with your wife will take. What can we say about the six-month project. So there are double budget excesses. To really appreciate the project, you can break it into as small sub-tasks as possible. However, you are still mistaken, but the error will be much smaller.

    Break a 12-week project into 12 separate projects for 1 week. For myself, I decided to build the work on page iterations. We take one page and make it a week. At the same time, everyone who takes part in this page is simultaneously busy. This solves a common problem when the front-end programmer asks the programmer that he wrote the API, how this or that function works and offers to rewrite it. The backend programmer can go into context for a long time.

    Shorten to-do lists

    Long to-do lists demotivate. Remember how you compiled a long to-do list, crossed out the first couple of points, and forgot the list. Or crossed out insufficiently well-executed cases from the end of the list.
    Break a list of 100 to-do items into 10 lists of 10 to-do items. Then each time you will do not 1% of the work, but 10%. You can prioritize tasks by simply allocating space for important tasks at the top of the list.

    Make small decisions

    Big and responsible decisions are difficult to make. Once you make such a decision, you will be forced to follow it, although this decision may be wrong. Instead, make many small decisions. They may be tiny, but it’s easier to make changes.


    Of course, you will be copied. Therefore, you must invest in the product something that will set you apart from the rest. Put your attitude, your service and your philosophy in it.
    Along with this, do not copy yourself. Copying can be seen as a learning strategy, but in the business world it looks mean. In addition, there is another problem: when copying, you skip the stage of understanding the underlying mechanisms by which the business grows. With blind imitation, you see only the top layer and the tip of the iceberg. What is under water you do not see. In addition, the simulator always lags behind. He does what is already outdated, then when the author of the original solution has already figured out how to improve it and is working on this improvement.
    Fall under the influence of others, but do not copy.

    Competitors can be challenged. If you have someone to oppose yourself, tell us about it. This contrast can rally people around your product. Global brands like Audi, Apple and 7up are taking advantage of this. Conflict inflames people and forces them to take sides. If you are convinced that you are on the bright side of the Force, act.

    Do less than your competitors. Let them do difficult and unpleasant tasks, and you solve simple ones. Concentrate on yourself, not on them.


    You start a new product in the shade: no one knows about you yet and this is very good. You can make mistakes, squint and the whole world will not hear about it. If you were to perform publicly for the first time, which audience would you prefer: 10 people or 10,000? There is no point in attracting universal attention if you are not ready for this yet. The more and more popular you become, the less risks you can afford. When you become famous, you will find that your every action is examined under a microscope.

    Some companies have customers, some have supporters, and the most successful have audiences. These are the people who regularly read you and they like what you do. Build your audience. Tell, publish, blog, tweet, shoot videos ... whatever. Share valuable information; slowly but surely, you are sure to create a loyal audience. When you need to be heard, the right people will definitely hear you. Educate your audience: conduct seminars, trainings, video tutorials, etc. This is a completely different type of communication than sales and service.

    Press Releases Is Spam

    What is the name of the letter you sent to 150 unfamiliar journalists? The correct answer is spam. To be noticed and to stand out, it is not enough to send a letter, because everyone else does it. You need to call or send a personal letter. Then you can count on a human attitude. Most likely the Forbes journalist will not notice you, however, as 37signals say, you do not need him. The fact is that on thematic sites you will be noticed with a greater degree of probability than in non-industry publications. Yes, when you were placed on the Forbes cover it is really nice, but it does not affect the attendance curve and the sales curve. At the same time, publication on thematic resources gives a sharp jump in traffic and sales.

    Marketing is not a department

    Not only the marketing department is responsible for marketing. Marketing is not a department, but a way of life and this is what all the employees of your company do 24 hours a day, 7 days a week 365 days a year. What it is:
    • answer a phone call or send a letter
    • every time someone uses your product
    • every word you write on your site
    • every error message in your program
    • each invoice
    • every personal conversation and meeting

    Marketing is the totality of all your actions.


    Never hire anyone until you yourself try to do it. You will be able to understand the nature of this work and understand how its good result should look. Then you can give a realistic description of the work and formulate the questions that you will ask at the interview. 37Signals did not hire a system administrator until one of them spent a whole summer setting up a bunch of servers.

    From time to time you will feel that your batteries are dead. This is normal, and there are two ways out of this situation: to hire people or use this opportunity to learn.
    By doing the work yourself you gain wisdom, delve into all aspects of your business. Otherwise, sooner or later you will find yourself in a fog and entrust your fate to other people.
    When it becomes unbearable - hire. And do this solely to relieve a headache. No need to hire for fun. Can you solve the problem without hiring? Hire only when you can’t.

    If something happened, apologize

    Do not hide your jambs, as they will still be known about them. Do the opposite: admit your guilt and ask for forgiveness. Just do not need to write a formal apology such as "we are sorry that you were upset." This apology involves accepting responsibility. There is no place for conditional mood and the word “if”.
    You must give out the basic details of what happened and the measures you are going to take to prevent this from happening again. And, of course, the measures that you are going to take to correct the mistake you made.
    Remember that “forgive me” sounds much stronger than “we apologize”.


    You cannot artificially create a culture. Artificial culture is like artificial flowers: they look good, but nobody likes them.

    Culture is a side effect of certain behaviors. If you encourage people to share ideas, then co-creation will enter culture. If you reward trust, then trust will become part of your culture.

    Culture is actions, not words, and these actions take shape over time. What actions do you encourage, that culture will be established in the team.
    Remember that your employees are not 13 years old. They are adults, but if you treat them like children, you will get childish work done. A work style in which any action requires approval engenders a culture of thoughtlessness.

    Inspiration does not last forever

    Each of us has ideas. They are, of course, good, but inspiration does not last forever. Use the moment when you have inspiration. If you have a desire to do something, you need to start it immediately. If you delay implementation for a couple of weeks, inspiration may not return. During a rush of inspiration, you can do as much in 24 hours as you would a couple of weeks.

    PS: For the article to benefit, you need to start applying at least a couple of points. Personally, I will start with a paragraph on workaholics and a reduction in the to-do list.

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