If there is one person who has directly influenced the last ten years of my commercial and business thinking more than any other, it is probably Jason Fried.
Jason is the founder of 37Signals, the creator of Basecamp and the author of Rework, a book I’d like to share with you and encourage you to read ahead of any other if you are starting a new business, trying to grow an existing one or you simply wanting to become more effective in your professional role.
Before I begin, Basecamp is at the core of the operations and administration of Viper Marketing. So I have for the last ten years, seen Jason’s product in action and have been directly inspired by the concept of business minimalism and clarity of simple and effective communication.
These are some of the fundamental points raised in the book, Rework “Change the way you work forever”.
Rework is not a theoretical tome, laden with complex scientific models. It is a practical, no nonsense journey through a change in mindset that importantly takes out the key blocker of personal ego in commercial thinking, leadership and decision making.
We are encouraged to do less than we think. Business is not about increasing mass, adding layers of product features and hiring expensive large teams of people. It’s about under-doing and out-teaching the competition. We need less than we think. We should focus on what won’t change, to ensure sustainability, optimise by selling our by-products if we can and importantly, if we find something useful then potential customers may too.
Jason encourages us to start at the epicentre, creating simple and focused excellence, ignoring unnecessary little details and perhaps including ourselves in the service offer too. This resonates with my own marketing mantra that one third of what customers want to hear about is us, the people behind our businesses.
Less is more. We should be minimalists because what customers most value are the core things we do, not the full list of things we’d like them to be interested in. 80/20 rule always applies, and ‘good enough’ is usually more than enough.
Make tiny decisions because all decisions are temporary. Jason provides evidence that speed is everything so lots of little decisions that help us move forward quickly are much more helpful than the large, potentially procrastinating decisions that can stall even the best decision maker amongst us.
And when it comes to the marketing section, Rework really gets going. We are reminded that marketing should not be a department and that everyone should believe they are on the front line, because they are. Jason recommends that we should hire great writers and emulate chefs, who invariably authentically share behind the scenes, so that customers get to really know and buy into more than just a product or service.
A book laden with anecdotes and pearls of wisdom. In my view a 5 star rating, and for everyone in business to experience. Rework is available on Amazon and other good book stores.
Through his blogs, products and books I feel I know a little of the man, but I am yet to meet Jason Fried. Hopefully one day, but in the meantime, thank you.