Walter van der Scheer- Rework-front cover

Great book, very applicable, and down-to-earth. If you’re in the software business you can apply a lot of best practices and tips from the guys at 37signals straight away.

The founders of 37signals have become very successful by applying their own rules to the business. There’s a big parallel with other big entrepreneurs, like the inevitable Steve Jobs, but perhaps even more with an entrepreneur like Eckart Wintzen.

Building a business isn’t necessarily about making a lot of hours. Office heroes are not the workers who make the extra hours every day, the real heroes are the ones who are at home having dinner with their family, and getting things done at the same time (during daytime).

If you truly understand your business, and you have a clear strategy, becoming successful is not about having a lot of meetings and talking things over and over, but about doing the things pragmatically. Eckart Wintzen had the same philosophy when he was CEO of a big IT company (BSO), expecting people to take responsibility for their own deeds.

I also like the example of Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist, who still calls himself Customer Service Representative and spends an hour a day helping out customers. This gives valuable insight in what’s going on in the real business. You won’t get these insights from lingering in the board room all day.

A parallel springs to mind with law enforcement: the blue (the color of the uniform in The Netherlands) should be on the street instead of behind a desk).

Anyway, Rework is written in a very enjoyable way, clear points and interesting oneliners.

Walter van der Scheer- Rework-back coverNext to the office heroes opinion, here are some other take-aways:

Small is a great goal
Automate, focus, don’t do everything, but do the things that you do extremely well. Work with as little people as possible, but make sure they are the best, effective, passionate and dedicated.

Scratch your own itch
Very recognizable: Copernica, the company I am associated with, started out creating web-based business application. Tools like an Intranet, webmail, content management and an online filofax. Tools developed for a single customer, but if one company has this need, probably there’s a lot of other companies who need a solution for the same problem. This proved to be very successful, eventually leading into a product which combines a lot of the features we had in different applications.

The drug-dealing model of online business
Free is a very strong business model: give prospects a bite of a good product, and if the product really is good: they will come back for more. In Rework the authors seek the parallel to drug dealing, giving away samples and making people addicted.

More fresh ideas of Jason Fried, one of the authors, can be watched at

About the author

Over the past few years Walter van der Scheer has been evangelizing marketing automation to advertising agencies, e-commerce companies and co-workers alike and has been building a team of determined sales professionals. He has made progress, but the road ahead is still very long. Walter shares his personal experiences and challenges along the road of changing the way that marketing is done, while trying to stick to the strategically chosen path. +


  1. susan September 7, 2012 Reply
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