Uwe Dreissigacker is a life-long tech entrepreneur, currently working on his seventh company, the online invoicing software InvoiceBerry. In this review, Uwe looks at a book that regularly gets mentioned by our readers as the most important business book they have read: Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinsemeier Hansson.
Rework is a must-read book for anyone who takes their business endeavours seriously. Even life-long entrepreneurs will learn a few things to implement in their business. Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson have been there and done it and they provide real-life advice for the budding entrepreneur. The book questions a lot of today’s common business practises, including the ancient misconception that a start-up needs outside funding, a 30+ page business plan or detailed financial forecasts.
One seemingly innocuous statement the duo make in the book is that when it comes to business, “planning is guessing”. It’s so simple. But if you take a second and let it sink in you will realize how true – and important – this statement is.
Planning is guessing. It is probably the most useful piece of advice I took from the book. About a year before I read Rework I completed a business plan for InvoiceBerry, my online invoicing software business that I started in 2010. After I read the sentence “planning is guessing” I jumped out of my chair, ran to a folder with company-related papers and looked for my business plan. I flicked through the papers until I found the financial forecast section. Every single month of that plan was wrong. Numbers were either too high or too low, but nothing matched the reality. I must have wasted tens of hours on that financial forecast and not only had I not looked back at it since I wrote it, but it was also utterly wrong. After all, how could I ever be able to forecast numbers without making a lot of assumptions and blindly guessing?
There are several of these simple yet powerful statements in Rework that make the book one of my favourite business books of all times. The straightforward language without any fancy business jargon was the icing on the cake. The perfect weekend read with the power to transform your business the following Monday.