- Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins - GB (6 November 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0008323445
- ISBN-13: 978-0008323448
- Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 2 x 23.4 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 358 g
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 13,049 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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It Doesn't Have To Be Crazy At Work Paperback – 6 Nov 2018
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‘This book is funny, well written and iconoclastic and by far the best thing on management published this year.’ – The Economist
About the Author
JASON FRIED and DAVID HEINEMEIER HANSSON are the New York Times bestselling authors of Rework and Remote, and the founders of Basecamp, a trailblazing software company.
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Jason is a really strong writer and the way he’s structured the book is evidence of that. It was a very easy read.
It’s nice to see a business book that doesn’t beat a topic or concept dead for 300 pages. This book is structured into a large number of very small chapters, so while the overarching theme is reinforced, there’s new insights every few pages. Only downside to this is that because there are a lot of different small topics, it’s easy to go through the whole book and not actually take out a lot of insights - I am a big note taker when I read so that’s not a problem for me as I will always review my highlights/notes from the book once I finish it, but just something to keep in mind.
Great stuff Jason and DHH - love the basecamp philosophy.
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• Employees should not be expected to work after work. 40 hours is plenty.
• Team communication does not need an immediate response.
• Less meetings
• Equal pay for equal seniority.
• Focus on process/gradual improvement vs. arbitrary goals
• CEO’s should think through how a sudden idea or words can alter the course of company culture and how projects get done
...the list goes on
But sadly, these “duhness” principles seem to be the exception in the working world. As an employee of a company who adopts a small share of their principles, I hope this book will serve as a symbol for change.
My knee jerk reaction to this book was its mainly for CEOs, founders, and managers, those in positions of power, to implement the ideas in this book. While I think they do hold the greater share of responsibility to make the change, I believe it is a interdependent change on employer and employee.
For employees, it's a call to analyze your own workplace habits and get better at drawing boundaries. Akin to how holding hidden expectations in a relationship will corrode the relationship if not communicated, acting as if your situation is futile without trying is the easy way out. Look I am scared here. Speaking up I risk being shut down or worse getting fired. However, I feel like it is the right thing to do. The challenge is communicating the ideas in this book so they will be listened to. Rome was not built in a day.
And for those in positions of power, this book shows it does not have to be a trade off between accomplishing something great and having a life outside work. I get that this is an uphill battle as popular culture celebrates the grinders, hustlers...the blood sweat and tears that people wear as a badge of honor. As the book title suggest, there’s a calmer way. This book shows it can be YES AND, not EITHER/OR. Yes you can be effective at work, become rich, leave a dent in this universe AND have a life outside it. Your legacy can be you left a trail of happy, healthy humans who genuinely thought of you as a good boss or manager. You’re happier. They’re happier. You can see your family, friends, and so can they. That seems pretty good to me, even if you don’t accomplish your mission of saving the whales :)
As a fan of Basecamp for sometime, many of these ideas you’ll find on their blog, however, the book feels different. From the choice on ordering how the ideas are presented, the illustrations, and just physical love for books...it’s different than the blog.
If you’re hesitant because the blog is free, do yourself a favor and get the living, breathing thing. Having this book is a great reminder; a great reminder of the world I’d like to live in. A great reminder that there is a saner way to work.
I am taking notes for things that are bugging the crap out of me at work. And I fear I may have to sleep more and stop trying to do a day job and get a "do good" business for first responders rolling in the evenings and weekends.
Great tips like:
* Set up office hours (to avoid being constantly disrupted at the pleasure of everyone else)
* Make your calendar private so people cannot slice up your day for their gain and your loss
* Keep team dependencies minimized
* It's okay to do okay work when that level of quality is just fine
Though "Your Mileage May Vary" is certainly good advice about this book, nonetheless, it supplies a lot of real-world examples of crap and possible solutions that might give you hope, if not a direct-fit recipe.
Along the way I was constantly highlighting bits that really resonated with me or that I would use as reminders for how I want to effect change at work to be more effective and calm.
The book itself is a joy to read as it's laid out in very small, concise, easily-digestible chapters. It doesn't drone on and bury you in explanation, examples, and irrelevant backstory as some books of this nature are wont to do. It gives you the point, a relevant example, caveats, and then lets you think for yourself on the merits of it. Perfect.
Some of the stand-out topics for me, paraphrased:
* Salary negotiations are a load of BS
* Meetings, especially large ones, are an ineffective waste of time. Doubly-so if they have no agenda.
* Unregulated open office plans are terrible. They invite distraction and hamper productivity.
* "When someone takes your time, it doesn't cost them anything, but it costs you everything"
* Keeping up with group chat, emails, other notifications, is a terrible way to spend your day and time
* "Where you live has nothing to do with the quality of your work, and it's the quality of your work that we're paying you for"
* Projects with inflexible scope and deadlines are a recipe for stress, dread, and missed expectations.
* Perks designed to keep you at the office are evil. Better find a company that encourages you to have a life outside of work.
All in all, great book. I'll be buying it as gifts for some office-bound friends and family.
After reading remote and rework, this one feels kinda "cheap", in the sense that is a 18$ book (pre-order, now is 25$) that you read in a couple of days.
Don't get me wrong, I like the content, but, maybe I've just been following DHH and his "teachings" for so long that it didn't really teach me anything.
I'll share it with a few coworkers and managers to see they're feedback.
Also one thing I noticed, especially since I always read on my kindle, the book feels cheap (a lot of white space and different color and font type on different pages) on the inside, although the outside is nice and classy once you remove the outside cover.
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