Archive for the ‘Business’ Category

Rework, by Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson

May 6, 2010


I picked up Rework in large part because it is blurbed/recommended by Seth Godin (a genius; try The Purple Cow or Big Red Fez) and by Unshelved (  It’s one of a new breed of business books that take an “outsider” perspective to comment on the “new” world of business success.  The writers are the founders of 37Signals, a small productivity software company and they have a popular blog Signals vs. Noise (“a weblog by 37signals about design, business, experience, simplicity, the web, culture, and more.”).

One of their core ideas is to stay small as long as possible.  It keeps a business/organization lean, flexible and in touch with its customers.  Makes sense to this public librarian!  I also really agree with their take on workaholism (it’s stupid), focusing on core principles (knowing your epicenter), and planning vs. doing (ummm, do).

This is an easy, quick read, broken into very short sections inside thematic “chapters”.  You can pick and choose topics or read cover to cover and take whatever makes sense for your situation.

Checklist Manifesto, by Atul Gawande

April 6, 2010


This examination of complexity and how simple tools can improve the performance of even the most highly-trained experts is essential reading. Gawande, a surgeon in Boston, worked with the World Health Organization to study whether checklists (like the ones used in aviation) could improve outcomes of surgery in all cases — whether third-world or wealthy cities. The results were astounding. I will definitely read Gawande’s other books (Better and Complications) now; his writing is clear, concise, interesting and very relevant.