Whenever someone who is looking to start a business asks me if there was anything I recommend before they set out on their own, my response is quick and never changes – before you do anything else read Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson.

The reason is simple; Rework is not your standard business book.  Instead of getting bloated chapters of unproven theories and untested concepts, you’ll get a step-by-step guide to how 37signals questioned the status quo and created a smarter approach to growing a small business.  The chapters are short, to the point and written to make you question the reason behind everything your company is (or is not) doing.

Success today isn’t defined the same way that it was in the past and there will always be people resistant to change, but the success that 37signals has experienced speaks for itself.  They changed the way the game is played, they’ve reached an audience that most companies only dream of, and they tell you exactly how they did it.  Their approach is simple, straightforward and grounded in common sense.

I won’t do Rework justice in just a review, but I definitely recommend it and guarantee you’ll be impressed with the writing and the content as you speed through it.  If you want a preview, take a look at his TED Talk where he talks about why you don’t do work at work.

Want to see other books that we have read and recommend? Take a look at our complete reading list for our other suggestions.