Jason Friend & DHH – Rework

The real world isnt a place, its an excuse. Its a justification for not trying. It has nothing to do with you.

Failure is not a prerequisite for success.

Unless you’re a fortune teller, long term business planning is a fantasy… Decide what you’re going to do this week, not this year. Figure out the next most important thing and do that. Make decisions right before you do something, not far in advance.

Don’t be insecure about aiming to be a small business. Any one who runs a business that’s sustainable and profitable, whether it’s big or small, should be proud.

Not only is worhaholism unnecessary, it’s stupid. Working more doesn’t mean you care more or get more done. It just means you work more.

You want your customers to say “This makes my life better.” You want to feel that if you stopped doing what you do, people would notice.

The easiest, most straightforward way to create a good product or service is to make something you want to use.

Ideas are cheap and plentiful… The real question is how well you execute.

When you want something bad enough, you make the time—regardless of your other obligations. The truth is most people just don’t want it bad enough. Then they protect their ego with the excuse of time. It’s entirely your responsibility to make your dreams come true.

When you don’t know what you believe, everything becomes an argument. Everything is debateable. But when you stand for something, decisions are obvious.

Standing for something isn’t just about writing it down. It’s about believing it and living it.

No matter what business you’re starting, take on as little outside cash as you can.

Maybe eventually you’ll need to go the bigger, more expensive route, but not right now.

Anyone who takes a “we’ll figure out how to profit in the future” attitude to business is being ridiculous. That’s like building a rocket ship but starting off saying “Let’s pretend gravity doesn’t exist.” A business without a path to profit isn’t a business, it’s a hobby… Actual businesses worry about profit from day one. Actual businesses don’t mask deep problems by saying “It’s OK, we’re a startup.”

You need a commitment strategy, not an exit strategy. You should be thinking about how to make your project grow and succeed, not how you’re going to jump ship.

“I don’t have enough time/money/people/experience.” Stop whining, Less is a good thing. Constraints are advantages in disguise. Limited resources force you to make do with what you’ve got. There’s no room for waste. And that forces you to be creative.

You can turn a bunch of great ideas into a crappy product real fast by trying to do them all at once… You’re better off with a kick-ass half than a half-assed whole.

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 should begin… “If I took this away, would what I’m selling still exist?”… When you find it you’ll know. Then focus all your energy on making it the best you can be. Everything else you do depends on that foundation.

Commit to making decisions. Don’t wait for the perfect decision. Decide and move forward… You don’t have to live with a decision forever. If you make a mistake, you can correct it later.

Long projects zap morale. The longer it takes to develop, the less likely it is to launch. Make the call, make progress, and get something out now—while you’ve still got the motivation and momentum to do so.

Constantly look out for things to remove, simplify, and streamline. Be a curator. Stick to what’s truly essential. Pare things down until you’re left with only the most important stuff. Then do it again. You can always add stuff back later if you need to.

The core of your business should be built around things that won’t change. Things that people are going to want today and ten years from now. Those are the things you should invest in.

In business, too many people obsess over tools, software tricks, scaling issues, fancy office space, lavish furniture, and other frivolties instead of what really matters. And what really matters is how to actually get customers and make money.

Everything has a byproduct. Observant and creative business minds spot these byproducts and see opportunities.

Once your product does what it needs to do, get it out there.

When you impose a deadine, you gain clarity. It’s the best way to get to that gut instinct that tells you “We don’t need this.”

Important questions to ask yourself that you’re doing work that matters: Why are you doing this? What problem are you solving? Is this actually useful? Are you adding value? Is there an easier way? What could you be doing instead? Is it really worth it?

Sometimes abandoning what you’re working on is the right move, even if you’ve already put in a lot of effort. Don’t throw good time after bad work.

Interruption is the enemy of productivity… You can’t get meaningful things done when you’re constantly going start, stop, start, stop… Long stretches of alone time are when you’re the most productive. When you don’t have to mind-shift between various tasks, you get a boatload done.

A successful alone-time period means letting go of communication addiction.

Momentum fuels motivation… The best way to build momentum is by getting something done and then moving onto the next thing.

Forgoing sleep is a bad idea. Sure, you get those extra hours right now, but you pay in spades later.

If you’re a copycat, you can never keep up.

Make you part of your product or service. Inject what’s unique about the way you think into what you sell… Pour yourself into your product and everything around your product too: how you sell it, how you support it, how you explain it, and how you deliver it.

If you think a competitor sucks, say so. When you do, you’ll find that others who agree with you will rally to your side. Being the anti-_ is a great way to differentiate yourself and attract followers… Having an enemy gives you a great story to tell customers, too. Taking a stand always stands out.

Do less than your competitors to beat them. Solve the simple problems and leave the hairy, difficult, nasty problems to the competition… Don’t shy away from the fact that your product or service does less. Highlight it. Be proud of it. Sell it as aggresively as competitors sell their extensive feature set.

When you spend time worrying about someone else, you can’t spend that time improving yourself.

Start getting in the habit of saying no—even to many of your best ideas. Use the power of no to get your priorities straight. You rarely regret saying now. But you often wind up saying yes.

Your goal is to make sure your product stays right for you. You’re the one who has to believe in it most.

Scaring away new customers is worse than losing old customers.

When you build an audience, you don’t have to buy people’s attention—they give it to you… Share information that’s valuable and you’ll slowly but surely build a loyal audience. Then when you need to get the word out, the right people will already be listening.

As a business owner, you should be sharing everything you know too… Letting people behind the curtain changes your relationship with them. They’ll feel a bond with you and see you as human beings istead of a faceless company.

Don’t be afraid to show your flaws. Imperfections are real and people respond to real. It’s why we like flowers that wilt, not perfect plastic ones that never change. Don’t worry about how you’re supposed to sound and how you’re supposed to act. Show the world what you’re really like, warts and all.

Call someone. Write a personal note… [Focus] on getting your story into a trade publication or picked up by a niche blogger.

Emulate drug dealers… Make something about your product bite size. You want an easily digestible introduction to what you sell.

Marketing isn’t [just a department]. Marketing is something everyone in your company is doing 24/7/365… Marking isn’t just a few individualy events. It’s the sum total of everything you do.

You wil not be a big hit right away. you will not get rich quick. You are not so special that everyone else will instantly pay attention… Trade the dream of overnight success for slow, measured growth.

Never hire anyone to do a job until you’ve tried to do it yourself first.

Don’t hire for pleasure, hire to kill pain.

Being a good writer is about more than writing. Clear writing is a sign of clear thinking.

When something goes wrong, someone is going to tell the story. You’ll be better off if it’s you.

People are so used to canned answers, you can really differentiate yourself by answering thoughtfully and showing that you’re listening.

You don’t create a culture, it happens.

Don’t solve problems you don’t have yet. It’s not a problem until it’s a real problem. Most of the things you worry about will never happen anyway.

When you treat people like children, you get children’s work.

Talk to customers the way you would to friends. Explain things as if you were sitting next to them. Avoid jargon or anysort of corporate speak.

Whenever you write something, read it out loud. Does it sound the way it would if you were talking to someone? If not, how can you make it more conversational?

There are four letter words you should never use in business…: need, must, can’t, easy, just, only, fast, and ASAP.

If you want to do something, you’ve got to do it now. You can’t put it on a shelf and wait two months to get around to it. You can’t just say you’ll do it later. Later, you won’t be pumped up about it anymore.