I am a fan of 37 Signals. Their very existence is a rebellion against the status-quo. They talk sense and stand as a shining example of how things can be (and maybe even should be). They have the balls to call bullshit by the name.
Rework is a collection of… short notes on their learnings about business and work. And the book serves as a good wake-up call. ‘Start a Business, Not a Startup’, Be a Curator, Embrace Constrains, etc are some ideas that the book talks about. Every short note accompanies an interesting illustration, some quick logic and sometimes a story to back up the idea.
Rework is mostly a summary of their learnings; and most of it is practically useless for anyone facing any of the problems addressed. The book just gives you a very brief glimpse into some general ideas and an alternate way of doing things. It serves as a good coffee-table piece or an inspiring read for a weekend, but fails to be of any serious consequence.
If it were a talk, where you don’t have much time, space, and attention to discuss a topic throughly and actually construct a mindset in response to the problems; such a format would make sense. But I expect a book to make an impact. Rework doesn’t.
In fact their blog, Signal vs Noise, is far more useful than the book. On SvN, they actually take a topic and write about to makes a shift. But Rework is some over-done practice of editing to a point where it becomes wannabe Zen koans.
For anyone who disagrees with the book and it’s ideas; it doesn’t have enough matter to convince them otherwise. And for people who are already convinced; it serves no other purpose than a reminder.
It’s a very expensive coffee-table book. Skip the book; read the blog.