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Book review: Rework: Change The Way You Work Forever

will make you choke on your coffee—but it’s in a good cause.

Rework: Change The Way You Work Forever

Rework: Change The Way You Work Forever

Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson (Random House/Vermilion, 2010) $35 Buy@Fishpond

When the inflight entertainment system kicked the bucket with seven hours of flying still to go, I begrudgingly flipped open Rework. Business books and free-flowing alcohol aren't best of friends, right?

Well, booze be damned. I finished this in one sitting and couldn't wait to get back to work.

37signals co-founder Jason Fried and partner David Heinemeier Hansson share their experience running a small business through boom, bust and everything in between.

Fried and Hansson won’t tell you to install a Coke machine and buy pool tables to emulate the Googleplex. They say culture is the byproduct of consistent behaviour. There are no suggestions to conduct meetings standing in a circle to make them 30 percent more effective. In fact, meetings are to be banished altogether.

Yes, you probably just choked on your coffee. This is not a gospel for startups and businesses: expect to disagree with some of Fried and Hansson’s suggestions. So if you thrive on meetings, carry on—but it's hard to argue with their logic.

Visit your local bookshop and get a copy of Rework to read at lunchtime. It doesn’t matter whether you are in business or not (yet). If you care about what you do, you will find something you can start doing better now.