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It Doesn't Have to Be Crazy at Work

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In this timely manifesto, the authors of the New York Times bestseller Rework broadly reject the prevailing notion that long hours, aggressive hustle, and "whatever it takes" are required to run a successful business today. In Rework, Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson introduced a new path to working effectively. Now, they build on their message with a bold, iconocla In this timely manifesto, the authors of the New York Times bestseller Rework broadly reject the prevailing notion that long hours, aggressive hustle, and "whatever it takes" are required to run a successful business today. In Rework, Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson introduced a new path to working effectively. Now, they build on their message with a bold, iconoclastic strategy for creating the ideal company culture—what they call "the calm company." Their approach directly attack the chaos, anxiety, and stress that plagues millions of workplaces and hampers billions of workers every day. Long hours, an excessive workload, and a lack of sleep have become a badge of honor for modern professionals. But it should be a mark of stupidity, the authors argue. Sadly, this isn’t just a problem for large organizations—individuals, contractors, and solopreneurs are burning themselves out the same way. The answer to better productivity isn’t more hours—it’s less waste and fewer things that induce distraction and persistent stress. It’s time to stop celebrating Crazy, and start celebrating Calm, Fried and Hansson assert. Fried and Hansson have the proof to back up their argument. "Calm" has been the cornerstone of their company’s culture since Basecamp began twenty years ago. Destined to become the management guide for the next generation, It Doesn't Have to Be Crazy at Work is a practical and inspiring distillation of their insights and experiences. It isn’t a book telling you what to do. It’s a book showing you what they’ve done—and how any manager or executive no matter the industry or size of the company, can do it too.


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In this timely manifesto, the authors of the New York Times bestseller Rework broadly reject the prevailing notion that long hours, aggressive hustle, and "whatever it takes" are required to run a successful business today. In Rework, Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson introduced a new path to working effectively. Now, they build on their message with a bold, iconocla In this timely manifesto, the authors of the New York Times bestseller Rework broadly reject the prevailing notion that long hours, aggressive hustle, and "whatever it takes" are required to run a successful business today. In Rework, Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson introduced a new path to working effectively. Now, they build on their message with a bold, iconoclastic strategy for creating the ideal company culture—what they call "the calm company." Their approach directly attack the chaos, anxiety, and stress that plagues millions of workplaces and hampers billions of workers every day. Long hours, an excessive workload, and a lack of sleep have become a badge of honor for modern professionals. But it should be a mark of stupidity, the authors argue. Sadly, this isn’t just a problem for large organizations—individuals, contractors, and solopreneurs are burning themselves out the same way. The answer to better productivity isn’t more hours—it’s less waste and fewer things that induce distraction and persistent stress. It’s time to stop celebrating Crazy, and start celebrating Calm, Fried and Hansson assert. Fried and Hansson have the proof to back up their argument. "Calm" has been the cornerstone of their company’s culture since Basecamp began twenty years ago. Destined to become the management guide for the next generation, It Doesn't Have to Be Crazy at Work is a practical and inspiring distillation of their insights and experiences. It isn’t a book telling you what to do. It’s a book showing you what they’ve done—and how any manager or executive no matter the industry or size of the company, can do it too.

30 review for It Doesn't Have to Be Crazy at Work

  1. 4 out of 5

    Bill

    Fried and DHH are once again offering a clarion call from The Future; ignore it at your peril. This is essential reading if you've ever thought that the millenial badge of honor, being busy beyond belief, may actually be a foolish road to ruin. If you're wise enough to know that your best work is not output at hour 12, 10, or even 8. If you're fed up that the potential of your brilliant teammates is being squandered. It's easy to critique norms and far harder to illuminate other paths, and the em Fried and DHH are once again offering a clarion call from The Future; ignore it at your peril. This is essential reading if you've ever thought that the millenial badge of honor, being busy beyond belief, may actually be a foolish road to ruin. If you're wise enough to know that your best work is not output at hour 12, 10, or even 8. If you're fed up that the potential of your brilliant teammates is being squandered. It's easy to critique norms and far harder to illuminate other paths, and the emphasis of this book is on the latter. As always, I appreciated their succinct, clear writing style. I really appreciated that they admit how many failed ideas they tried before finding what worked for them. Unlike a lot of get-rich-quick companies who stumble into a madly profitable sector and then conclude that it was their unique secret sauce that got them there (Amazon, Google, etc), Basecamp clearly lives and breathes a spirit of kaizen. And although I can already hear the skeptics saying, "That's great for them but it won't work here...", I suggest you read this and apply just one of its practices to yourself or your team. I think you'll be happier.

  2. 5 out of 5

    John Weldy

    I hate books about work I’m a director at a school, so I’m expected to read...a lot. And I love reading, about things I’m interested in. Almost never does that include books about work. I’ve tried so many, loved the first couple chapters, then never returned. This one is different. There’s no fluff, no filler, only gold. It reads like a series of short, to-the-point blog posts (which is probably largely what it is). If you hate that, run away. But I finished this in under 24hrs from when I first h I hate books about work I’m a director at a school, so I’m expected to read...a lot. And I love reading, about things I’m interested in. Almost never does that include books about work. I’ve tried so many, loved the first couple chapters, then never returned. This one is different. There’s no fluff, no filler, only gold. It reads like a series of short, to-the-point blog posts (which is probably largely what it is). If you hate that, run away. But I finished this in under 24hrs from when I first heard of it, and I never have finished a business book in my life (except those bullshit textbooks I was forced to skim). But I didn’t just read it, I wrote out notes for how I was going to implement pieces of the strategies in my department and introduce them to the company as a whole. There are gems on every page.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    I started this on a plane and finished it over salt-roasted chicken with celery root, leeks, and ham chips. Recommend by coworkers, especially @bill’s knh, I found that about 30% of this applies to my company. The fact is that our problems don’t match the ones these folks have solved with their miracle company (which I would LOVE to work at, based on how they present it.) The 30% that applies applies REALLY HARD. I wish everyone at my company would read that 30%. The other 70% makes me feel like I started this on a plane and finished it over salt-roasted chicken with celery root, leeks, and ham chips. Recommend by coworkers, especially @bill’s knh, I found that about 30% of this applies to my company. The fact is that our problems don’t match the ones these folks have solved with their miracle company (which I would LOVE to work at, based on how they present it.) The 30% that applies applies REALLY HARD. I wish everyone at my company would read that 30%. The other 70% makes me feel like we’re even further off from being functional than I’d thought. Sharing my notes and highlights, if you’re interested what resonated with me.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Youghourta

    كتاب يقلب مفاهيم ومبادئ عالم الشركات الناشئة (خاصة تلك التي تعتمد "الطريقة الأمريكية" منها) رأسًا على عقب. يُعتبر هذا الكتاب امتدادًا طبيعيًا للكتاب السابق الذي نشره نفس الكاتبان “العمل عن بعد: المكتب غير ضروري”* والذي يدور حول مبدأ العمل عن بُعد وفي فِرق مُوزّعة. هذا الكتاب يركّز هذه المرة على مفهوم إدارة الشركات (خاصّة التقنية منها) بكل هدوء وسكينة وبعيدًا عن "الجنون" الذي أصبح مُرادفًا للعمل في أيّة شركة ناشئة. من بين الأفكار التي ترسّبت لديّ بعد الفراغ من الكتاب: - أصبح "الجنون" في العمل سمة ت كتاب يقلب مفاهيم ومبادئ عالم الشركات الناشئة (خاصة تلك التي تعتمد "الطريقة الأمريكية" منها) رأسًا على عقب. يُعتبر هذا الكتاب امتدادًا طبيعيًا للكتاب السابق الذي نشره نفس الكاتبان “العمل عن بعد: المكتب غير ضروري”* والذي يدور حول مبدأ العمل عن بُعد وفي فِرق مُوزّعة. هذا الكتاب يركّز هذه المرة على مفهوم إدارة الشركات (خاصّة التقنية منها) بكل هدوء وسكينة وبعيدًا عن "الجنون" الذي أصبح مُرادفًا للعمل في أيّة شركة ناشئة. من بين الأفكار التي ترسّبت لديّ بعد الفراغ من الكتاب: - أصبح "الجنون" في العمل سمة تتّسم بها العديد من بيئات العمل خاصة في الشّركات الناشئة. المقصود بـ"الجنون" هنا هو وتيرة العمل، الضغّط المُتواصل، الساعات الطوال والجهد المبذول. كل هذه العوامل لا تترك لصاحب الشركة أو للعاملين فيها أي مجال لأية حياة خارج العمل. - تسرّبت المُصطلحات الحربية إلى بيئة العمل إلى درجة أصبحت ضمن مفردات أية شركة ناشئة. فهذه الشركة ترغب في السيطرة على حصّة الأسد في هذا المجال، وتلك الشركة تهدف إلى سحق المُنافسين، وأخرى تتصيّد أفضل الرؤوس من مُبرمجين ومُسوّقين لتضمّهم إليها. - شركتك عبارة عن مُنتج في حد ذاته، تمامًا مثلما تعمل على تحسين المُنتج الذي تعمل عليه فإنه يتوجّب عليك أن تعتبر شركتك مجرّد منتج آخر تعمل عليه. المقصود بذلك هو أن الوصول إلى بيئة عمل هادئة سيحتاج إلى عمل وسيحتاج إلى جهد، وتحقيق هذا الهدف قد يتطلّب إحداث تغييرات تدريجية مُتواصلة في بنية الشركة، في طريقة إدارتها، في أهدافها وفي ثقافتها حتى تصل إلى ذلك. - لا تملك شركة بايسكامب** (التي يملكها ويديرها الكاتبان والتي تُعتبر مصدر إلهام هذا الكتاب) أيّة أهداف. المقصود بذلك بأن الشركة لا تهدف إلى تحقيق نسبة مُعيّنة من الأرباح أو النمو أو المبيعات أو إطلاق عدد مُحدد من المُنتجات أو عقد عدد مُعيّن من الصفقات. كل ما تهدف الشركة إلى تحقيقه هو أن تكون مُربحة وأن توفّر العيش الكريم لأصحابها ولموظّفيها على حد سواء. - لا حاجة للتخطيط لكل ما ستقوم به شركتك خلال العشرية القادمة أو حتى خلال السنة القادمة. في أغلب الحالات كل ما تحتاجه هو أن تحل المشاكل والعقبات التي تواجهك حينما تواجهك. التخطيط المُستقبلي على الأمد البعيد لن يخدمك أو يخدم أهدافك في توفير بيئة عمل هادئة. - العمل لمدة 8 ساعات يوميا (40 ساعة أسبوعيًا) كافٍ وزيادة. لا حاجة لأن تحاول العمل لأكثر من ذلك. في أغلب الحالات تجد أن الموظفين في شركات عديدة يحتاجون إلى العمل لساعات أطول بسبب أنه يصعب عليهم التركيز خلال الساعات الثمانية التي يُفترض بهم أن يعملوا خلالها. الأمر راجع بشكل أساسي لصعوبة التركيز في الشركات التي تعتمد "المكاتب المفتوحة" أين تكثر المُلهيات والاجتماعات. لهذا تجد أنه وفي الكثير من الحالات يضطرّ بعض الموظّفين للقدوم باكرًا قبل أن يزدحم المكتب أو البقاء لساعات متأخّرة من الليل وربما حتى إلى القدوم خلال أيام عطل نهاية الأسبوع إن هم أرادوا إتمام الموكلة إليهم. - تعتمد شركة بايسكامب مبدأ التواصل اللامتزامن بشكل أساسي. بعبارة أخرى كل سؤال أو نقاش أو موضوع للنقاش يُطرح بشكل يسمح لأي موظف أن يردّ أو يشارك فيه وقتما تفرّغ لذلك. ولهذا تجد أن الشركة تعتمد أحد المبادئ التي نجدها عادة في العالم الأكاديمي والمُتعلّق بمفهوم “ساعات الاستقبال”***. فعلى سبيل المثال يخصص كل موظف وقتا مُعيّنا كل أسبوع للإجابة على أية أسئلة قد تكون لدى باقي أعضاء الفريق. هذا الأمر يسمح للجميع باحترام أوقات الآخرين وعدم مقاطعتهم لما يكونون في فترة "العمل العميق". أمر آخر تعتمده الشركة وهو عدم استخدام أية تقاويم مشتركة. فلا يُمكنك أن تحجز على تقويم جوجل اجتماعًا مع أي عضو آخر في الفريق بسهولة. بل يجب عليك أن تتواصل معه قبل ذلك. إضافة مثل هذا العائق يقضي على الاجتماعات غير المرغوب فيها، كما يُقلل من المُقاطعات التي تسبب في تراجع مردودية كل مُوظّف. - الشعارات التي ترفعها العديد من الشركات الناشئة مثل شعار "كلنا عائلة واحدة هنا" هي شعارات فارغة في أفضل الحالات وشعارات مُضرّة في أغلب الحالات. في حين أن أفراد العائلة الواحد يهتم بعضهم لبعض، فإن الشركات عادة ما ستضحي بموظفيها في أول فرصة سانحة. يشير الكاتبان بأنهما في شركتهما لا يحاولان خداع الموظفين بمثل هذه الشعارات ولا يحاولان إيهامهم بأنهم عائلة، بل هم مجموعة زملاء يهتم بعضهم لبعض ويفسحون لهم المجال ليكونوا أعضاء صالحين في عائلاتهم الخاصة. - وجدت في هذا الكتاب أفضل/أدق تعريف لما يُعرف بثقافة الشركة. المقصود بالثقافة -حسب الكتاب- هو ما يُعتبر طبيعيًا وما يتم القيام به بشكل دائم. فعلى سبيل المثال إن كان الموظفون يتبادلون الطرائف حول رسائل عميل ما أو يصفون عميلًا صعبًا بأسوأ الصفات وبدا لك بأن الأمر "عادي" فاعلم أن مثل هذه التصرفات هي جزء من ثقافة شركتك. إضافة إلى ذلك فإن الرئيس التنفيذي / المدير قد يكون أهم مصدر من مصادر "الثقافة التلقائية" التي لم تُدرس ولم تُتخذ عن قصد. فعلى سبيل المثال إن كنت تريد من الموظفين أن لا يعملوا لأكثر من 8 ساعات يوميا لكنهم يلاحظون بأنك أول الواصلين وآخر المُغادرين فسيتكون لديهم الانطباع بأن ثقافة الشركة تنص على ذلك رغم إصرارك على وجوب عدم العمل لأكثر من 8 ساعات يوميًا. - يركّز الكتاب على أهمية النوم الجيد ولفترات كافية. أذكر أن تغريدة لأحد الكاتبين هي التي دفعتني إلى قراءة كتاب "لماذا ننام؟" الذي سبق وأن كتبت مُراجعة حوله تجدها على الرابط التالي: http://www.it-scoop.com/2018/07/why-w... - يذكر الكاتب بعض ما يُميّز العمل لدى بايسكامب تجعل جميع من يقرأ الكتاب يغبط موظّفيهم. فعلى سبيل المثال لا حاجة للتفاوض على الرواتب لدى الشركة بحكم أنهم يدفعون اعتمادًا على أحسن ما يُدفع مقابل تلك الوظيفة في أكثر الأماكن تنافسية في العالم. كما هو معروف فإن رواتب المُبرمجين في وادي السيليكون هي الأعلى في العالم، وبالتالي يُدفع للمُبرمجين بناء على ذاك أيّا كان المكان الذي يقيمون فيه (هذا على عكس ما تقوم به شركات أخرى مثل Buffer والتي تأخذ المدينة التي يتواجد فيها المُوظّف في الحسبان لما يتم احتساب الراتب). إضافة إلى ذلك فإنه يُدفع لكل موظف تكاليف اشتراكه في نادٍ رياضي (وشراء لباس رياضيِ) إضافة إلى تخصيص مبلغ سنوي للتعلم والتكوين (في أي مجال يرغبه الموظف حتى وإن لم يكن له أية علاقة بالعمل). الإجازة السنوية إجبارية وتدفع الشركة تكاليفها، ويطلب من الموظف الانقطاع بشكل كامل عن العمل (يعني يقوم الموظفون حتى بحذف تطبيق بايسكامب من هواتفهم لكيلا ينشغلوا بالعمل خلال إجازاتهم) كما يأخذ الموظفون شهرًا إضافيا كل بضعة سنوات للانقطاع والتفرغ الكامل لأنفسهم. - تعتمد الشركة في الصيف نظام العمل بأسابيع مكوّنة من 4 أيام عمل فقط. أي أن كل موظف يأخذ الجمعة أو الإثنين إلى جانب يومي السبت والأحد الاعتياديين. يشير الكتاب إلى أنهم لم يلحظوا أي تراجع في الأداء بسبب ذلك. كما لا يتم تعقب ساعات العمل، بل يُعامل الجميع على أنهم سيكونون أمينين في عملهم. - نقطة عالجها الكتاب ولم أكن أتوقع مثلها وهي عدم الحاجة إلى أن تنشد الكمال في كل مهمة تقوم بها. فعلى سبيل المثال يفضل أن تنهي المهمة بأداء جيّد بدل أن تبذل أضعاف الوقت لتنهيها بأداء ممتاز أو قريب من الكمال. فلا يُمانع الكاتبان مثلا أن ينشرا مقالًا أو تدوينة حتى ولو احتوت خطأ إملائيا أو نحويًا، فالأهم هو النوعية والأداء الإجمالي. - يحذر الكتاب من اعتماد ما يُسمّى بـ "أفضل المُمارسات" **** والتي تُنشر عادة كقوائم أو مقالات، فما يصلح لشركة كبيرة لا يصلح بالضرورة لشركة صغيرة، وما يفيد شركة ما قد يضر بشركة أخرى. - ينصح الكتاب بتجنب المخاطر غير المدروسة. يضرب الكتاب مثالًا بالتغيير الحاصل في تسعير تطبيق بايسكامب حيث قررت الشركة رفع سعر المُنتج مرّتين (يعني 3 مرات السعر الحالي) بعد إطلاق تحديث جديد للتطبيق. كيف يُمكن اعتبار هذه المُخاطرة مدروسة؟ يشير الكتاب إلى أن الزبائن الحاليين سيحافظون على نفس التسعير وبالتالي فإنه حتى ولو لم ينضم أي زبون جديد بسبب التسعير الجديد فإن مستقبل الشركة ليس مرهونا (بحكم وجود مئات آلاف الزبائن الحاليين). يشير الكتاب إلى أن التسعير الجديد خفض أعداد المُشتركين الجُدد إلا أن ذلك لم يؤثر على أرباح الشركة بحكم ارتفاع التسعير الذي يدفعه المشتركون الجُدد. - أجمل فكرة في الكتاب -في رأيي- هي القناعة. المقصود بذلك هو أنه وبعد أن تصل الشركة إلى مستوى مُعيّن من الربحية ويحصّل أصحابها على مستوى مُعيّن من الثروة فلا حاجة فعلية للمزيد. بعبارة أخرى لا حاجة للسعي وراء النمو المتواصل والمتزايد. صحيح بأن الشركة ستنمو لكن ستنمو ببطء. هذا ما يخلق جوًا من السكينة في الشركة يعود بالنفع على الجميع. أنصح الجميع بقراءة هذا الكتاب، حتى إن لم تكن تنوي إطلاق شركة الخاصة فقد تُساعدك أفكار هذا الكتاب في تحسين أوضاع الشركة التي تعمل الآن لصالحها. الكتاب قصير نسبيًا ويُمكنك إنهاؤه في جلسة واحدة (حوالي ساعتين). إن كنت ممن يفضّلون الكتب الصوتية فأداء هذا الكتاب كانت في القمّة. --- * Remote: Office Not Required ** بايسكامب basecamp *** ساعات الاستقبال office hours **** أفضل المُمارسات best practices سبق وأن نشرت هذا المقال على مُدوّنتي من هنا: http://www.it-scoop.com/2018/10/it-do...

  5. 4 out of 5

    Vitor Capela

    The message is important: a company has the agency to dismiss most business practices and advice — growth at all costs, change for change's sake, working its staff to the bone — and still thrive. I applaud their consistency, year after year, in pointing at their own success as proof. If you read their blog and Twitter accounts, this book provides very little that's new. Like "Remote", it's more pamphlet (size included) than deep exploration, and, while I think manifestos and clever turns of sente The message is important: a company has the agency to dismiss most business practices and advice — growth at all costs, change for change's sake, working its staff to the bone — and still thrive. I applaud their consistency, year after year, in pointing at their own success as proof. If you read their blog and Twitter accounts, this book provides very little that's new. Like "Remote", it's more pamphlet (size included) than deep exploration, and, while I think manifestos and clever turns of sentence have their charm, it'd be a lot more valuable had they expanded on their decision-making (i.e. fill-in the blanks between "that was then" and "this is now").

  6. 5 out of 5

    Willian Molinari

    What a great book! The best part of this book is that there's nothing so out of this world there, they are just talking about what we should be doing. Hey, it's true, it doesn't have to be crazy at work. We can still do our best and deliver an amazing product without making ourselves miserable working like crazy to meet some made up numbers used as "goals". We can still be ambitious and make something our users love without driving the whole team crazy. We can have a productive environment to let What a great book! The best part of this book is that there's nothing so out of this world there, they are just talking about what we should be doing. Hey, it's true, it doesn't have to be crazy at work. We can still do our best and deliver an amazing product without making ourselves miserable working like crazy to meet some made up numbers used as "goals". We can still be ambitious and make something our users love without driving the whole team crazy. We can have a productive environment to let people do their work in the best way possible. Having a calm and productive environment is a choice. There are many great tips in this book and many I already saw a situation where the solution proposed would apply. Here are my raw notes for this book: * People can't get the work done at work anymore * The answer is not more hours, it's less bullshit * You can have a calm company too. Chaos should not be the norm at work * Do you know where the money come from? Customers. Not any venture capital or something like that. * Calm is reasonable expectations, 40 hours work week, smaller, visible horizon, meetings as a last resort, async first and real-time second, profitability * "The goals don't care about how you feel" -- what a weird way of thinking * Your work is not love or war, it's business. If you think you're a commander and has to exterminate your enemy, you will do any dirty trick to get there. No morals. * It doesn't matter how much market share we have. Do we have enough money to pay the bills and have some profit? Are we growing? In case both answers are YES, then we are great. * At the end of the day, would you prefer to win an imaginary contest by throwing sand in the eye of your competitors or by doing the best product you can? * Our goals? No goals! Just be profitable. We care about our product and customers, and we get better every day. We just don't care about having specific goals. * They tried it once, but it was just an incentive to pretend they care about a number they made up. * It's also not worth it to take the cultural trade-offs just to have it. * Let's face it: goals are fake. They are just artificial targets for the sake of setting targets. They are a source of stress. * There's a dark side of goal setting: companies sometimes lost integrity to reach those numbers. "Let's reduce quality to deliver." * If you stop thinking you have to change the world, you will lift a burden from your shoulder and everyone else working with you * You don't have to feel discomfort all the time. Sometimes discomfort is painful, but it's needed, but not all the time. Sometimes, if you're uncomfortable, it's because something is not right. -- I'm not sure if I agree 100% with the arguments here. The argument on discomfort happens, but it's not the same for "pushing yourself harder". I think that pushing yourself harder is where you get most out of what you want, but I also agree that having "push yourself harder" as a corporate strategy doesn't seem very healthy and that's probably the point of this argument. * Sometimes is not breaking out but driving deeper * You don't need more than 40 hours. You need to remove useless interruptions and actually work 40 hours. Be a protectionist but remember to protect what matters most * When was the last time you had 3 or even 4 hours of uninterrupted work? * Effective is better than productive. Don't focus on being busy, but being effective on what you do. * Not doing something which is not worth doing is a fantastic way of spending your time * When people have to get something done, they leave the office. The office doesn't make much sense anymore. * Office hours are the time when you will be available for people to reach you and ask questions. * Questions can wait * I don't care about what people are doing at this particular moment, I care about the work they are delivering. * It's important to know the status of people during emergencies but 1% of the time should not drive and become a rule. Assume that people are focusing on their work. * Companies are not families, they are supporters of families * It doesn't matter what you say, it matters what you do. Don't let your managers overwork and don't do it yourself. Be calm as you want your company to be * The owner's word weighs a ton. Any comment or suggestions from the owner can make something to become a priority. Things like "it's just a suggestion" doesn't work. * Be careful with low hanging fruits. Many of them look low when you're not close enough. Take special care when you're assigning someone else to take care of it, you may be setting this person to fail. * Be careful with sleep deprivation the bad parts are not always easy to notice, but they affect the whole team. * Benefits who? Offices with game consoles, free dinner, etc. benefits the company not the employees. Staying in the office longer than you should is not a benefit * Paid vacations for employees that have more than one year working for Basecamp. They also pay the travel for this person up to 5000. 32 hours work week in the summer so the employees can have a 3 days weekend. 30 days paid sabbatical every 3 years, to do whatever you want. 1000 USD a year for education, not just related to work. Donation match, if you donate until 2k USD, the company also donates the same amount. Fresh local vegetable expense. 100 for exercises. Not a single benefits to keep people at work * Library rules. Make your office look like a library, where people go to study and get things done. It may have one room for noisy conversations, not the whole place * No fakations (fake vacations) * If we don't clearly communicate why you terminate with someone, people will start finding a reason by themselves * Saying goodbye is not easy, but it doesn't have to be cold. There should always be a message about what happened and the reasoning for leaving, either from the person leaving or their manager * Real-time chatting can be a problem because of FOMO. If you're not reading all day, you may miss something important and not have the chance to give your two cents * If it's important, slow down. Don't process essential things one line at the time, write words down and discuss it. * Real-time chatting is excellent as a small slice not a whole pie of communication * If there's a deadline, we keep the date, but the scope may change. We keep the must-have things and cut what can be cut. Adding more work after the deadline is unfair, we just reduce it after setting the date. * A deadline with a flexible scope is better than an estimation. People suck at estimates. * Culture is what you do. Do the right things. * Disagree and commit. Don't try to convince everyone, it's impractical. Someone should be responsible for decisions but everyone should be heard, and they need to feel it. * Have less to do instead of struggling with time management. Learn to say no. * Parts of your revenue just don't worth it. Sometimes it's better to trade some revenue for your time (receiving payments in checks) * It's ok to take risks but not high risk all the time (double or nothing) * We always kept ourselves profitable with a positive account. It's hard to be calm when you have a negative account or is almost going out of business * Keep the same price for all customers. It doesn't matter how many accounts they will have, they will be just another client, and your support and features have to be great for all of them. By doing that you avoid having special changes for one client or be tied to them because of the high volume of money * Launch and learn. Beta processes take a lot of time and effort, let the market tell you their feedback * When something is wrong with your product, help your client to reach the "not a big deal conclusion". Most of the time it's not costly to do that, and the feedback from your service will be astonishing comparing with it may be. Example: bad air conditioning in a hotel room. You could provide a refund, cold water, ice cream, and help the customer find another hotel nearby. This attitude will probably trigger a "not a big deal" reaction to the problem. * A calm company is a choice, make it yours.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ivana

    The praise of calm, commited, well-formulated, thought-through work environment. An antithesis to war metaphors in business literature and the talk about the need to grow endlessly (like The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers) or the urgent need to be "happy" or "family". EDIT: There actually is one topic I actually miss in this book - the perspective of the remotely working employee of Basecamp. Just to have a glimps whether and how are those down-to The praise of calm, commited, well-formulated, thought-through work environment. An antithesis to war metaphors in business literature and the talk about the need to grow endlessly (like The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers) or the urgent need to be "happy" or "family". EDIT: There actually is one topic I actually miss in this book - the perspective of the remotely working employee of Basecamp. Just to have a glimps whether and how are those down-to-earth principles turned into practice by a "regular" team member.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Simon Eskildsen

    The premise of the book is wonderful: we chase growth at all cost and the human cost of that is real. However, I can't shake some feeling of arrogance that permeates the book. Points are mostly anecdotal and all the examples of practised 'calm' are from their own company or people outside of companies (the reference section is suspiciously thin). Come on, it's not so radical to not work yourself to death that no-one else in the world practises it. The authors are in a privileged position with a The premise of the book is wonderful: we chase growth at all cost and the human cost of that is real. However, I can't shake some feeling of arrogance that permeates the book. Points are mostly anecdotal and all the examples of practised 'calm' are from their own company or people outside of companies (the reference section is suspiciously thin). Come on, it's not so radical to not work yourself to death that no-one else in the world practises it. The authors are in a privileged position with a subscription model and no externally imposed deadlines. That’s the exception and it’s not acknowledged. There are great, actionable insights in the book—but the style is offputting. "Slack" is an example of a book on the same topic that is much better written. The book reads like a great history of building a company under quality-of-life first principles. However, the book is an attempt to attack a wider scope without greater support. It could've been more honest with itself. All that said, this is a book that needs to exist and will likely have a larger impact on the sometimes toxic tech work culture than most existing material outside—so I applaud the effort into an approachable read on the subject!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Seyfeddin

    37 Signals'ın bütün kitaplarını okudum. Hepsi çok güzel fikirler barındırıyordu, bu kitap da bundan farklı değil. Ama büyük bir eksik var. Son zamanlarda Amerika'da yeni bir trend başladı: Calm. Silikon vadisinin parlattığı "günde 18 saat çalış, yoksa milyar dolarlar kazanamazsın" fikrinin tam tersini savunan bu akım, eğer sakin ve planlı bir iş hayatı sürdürmezsek, bunun uzun vadede ciddi problemler açacağını söylüyor. Kitabın yazarlarının kurucusu olduğu Basecamp şirketi de bu "Calm" akımının sa 37 Signals'ın bütün kitaplarını okudum. Hepsi çok güzel fikirler barındırıyordu, bu kitap da bundan farklı değil. Ama büyük bir eksik var. Son zamanlarda Amerika'da yeni bir trend başladı: Calm. Silikon vadisinin parlattığı "günde 18 saat çalış, yoksa milyar dolarlar kazanamazsın" fikrinin tam tersini savunan bu akım, eğer sakin ve planlı bir iş hayatı sürdürmezsek, bunun uzun vadede ciddi problemler açacağını söylüyor. Kitabın yazarlarının kurucusu olduğu Basecamp şirketi de bu "Calm" akımının savunucularından. Kitap kısa kısa pasajlardan oluşuyor, ve her pasaj başka bir konuyu ele alıyor. Bu yüzden okuması da gayet hızlı, 2-3 saatte rahatça bitirebilirsiniz. Diğer kitapları gibi güzel fikirler barındırıyor ancak yazarların aşırı sabit fikirli olması beni rahatsız etti. Sakinlik ve ekip yönetimi ile ilgili kısımlara fazlasıyla katılsam da, iş modeli, para kazanma ve şirket yönetme ile ilgili kısımlardaki kesin ifadeleri beğenmedim. Basecamp'in ürünü basit bir proje yöneticisi. Ürünün arka planında gelişmiş bir teknoloji kullanmıyorlar. Ekledikleri özelliklerin hepsi proje yönetimini kolaylaştıracak tasarım iyileştirmeleri olan bir şirketin, "ürününüzün tek fiyatı olmalı, 1 milyar dolarlık şirkete de, tek kişiye de aynı fiyattan ürün satmalısınız" tarzı dayatmaları fazla iddialı olmuş. Her ürün Basecamp gibi basit değil. Özetle kitabın savunduğu tez doğru olsa da, örnekleri çoğaltmak amacıyla seçtikleri konular ve bu konularda diretmeleri kitabı sevmeme engel oldu. Bir önceki kitapları Remote da böyleydi. 3.5/5

  10. 4 out of 5

    Philipp

    Alternative title: 'Come work at Basecamp!' There's something weird about modern work culture, things our grandfathers have fought and died for, like the 40 hour work-week, are being unrolled, not directly by your mean bosses, but by neoliberalism/late stage capitalism's magic trick that implanted a tiny voice within yourself, telling you that if you don't give 200%, you'll be left behind. (For more discussion on this weird development, see Byung-Chul Han's Psychopolitik, or Fromm's Sane Society) Alternative title: 'Come work at Basecamp!' There's something weird about modern work culture, things our grandfathers have fought and died for, like the 40 hour work-week, are being unrolled, not directly by your mean bosses, but by neoliberalism/late stage capitalism's magic trick that implanted a tiny voice within yourself, telling you that if you don't give 200%, you'll be left behind. (For more discussion on this weird development, see Byung-Chul Han's Psychopolitik, or Fromm's Sane Society). One famous example is Elon Musk, who seems to flip-flop between being publicly.... weird, and telling people that you need to work more than 80 hours per week, like him. I guess there's a strong link between both. A lot of the modern Internet startup culture is like this - work yourself to the bone in hope of eventual riches (spoiler: someone else is getting rich). As a scientist there's a similar streak in our work culture, except that nobody is getting rich - and I've seen similar things in the medical profession. Jason Fried and David Hanemeier Hansson (DHH) both co-founded Basecamp (formerly 37signals?), an Internet company that posits itself as a 'calm company', a place where everybody works 40 hours at the most, a company which doesn't try to grow at all costs. That's what this manifesto is about, essentially a 'modern work culture is BS', followed by 'this is how we are doing this' points, all in short chapters. Some stuff you want to print out and glue to people's heads: Time-management hacks, life hacks, sleep hacks, work hacks. These all reflect an obsession with trying to squeeze more time out of the day, but rearranging your daily patterns to find more time for work isn’t the problem. Too much shit to do is the problem. The only way to get more done is to have less to do. Saying no is the only way to claw back time. Don’t shuffle 12 things so that you can do them in a different order, don’t set timers to move on from this or that. Eliminate 7 of the 12 things, and you’ll have time left for the 5. It’s not time management, it’s obligation elimination. Everything else is snake oil. a lot of the other stuff feels more like advertising for working at Basecamp. Yes, I know this worked for you very well and it took a lot of pressure from your employees, but it's one of many possible solutions. Without numbers or research I cannot tell whether this particular solution is 'better' (for example, yes, 40 hours makes for happier employees, and working longer than that is likely to be detrimental to the work itself - but how much detrimental is it, is it even detrimental, and what about 50, 60, 70 hours, where does it get worse? I don't think there are numbers out there for this?) But anyway, I'm hoping that this and similar books will cause a re-thinking as to how people treat their work, and their workplace, and their employees. This is one of those books that you should buy a few copies of, then leave them around for someone to serendipitously find. Not just in the business world, but also in scientific research.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Richard Newton

    Nice. It’s good to read business advice from successful business people that is so calm and takes a different line from almost any other I’ve read. Assuming working for Basecamp really is as good as the picture the authors paint then anyone working there is pretty lucky. A few stylistic quibbles aside this is a great enjoyable read. The only bit which jars for Europeans is flagging 3 weeks paid leave as something special - everyone I know gets at least 5 (excluding public holidays which are on to Nice. It’s good to read business advice from successful business people that is so calm and takes a different line from almost any other I’ve read. Assuming working for Basecamp really is as good as the picture the authors paint then anyone working there is pretty lucky. A few stylistic quibbles aside this is a great enjoyable read. The only bit which jars for Europeans is flagging 3 weeks paid leave as something special - everyone I know gets at least 5 (excluding public holidays which are on top). But this is one detail in a book full showing a really pleasant attitude to work and business. If you happen to work for an awful employer I’m not sure if this book will irritate or inspire though!

  12. 4 out of 5

    José

    I've got mixed feelings on this one. After reading remote and rework, this one feels kinda "cheap", in the sense that is a 18$ book (pre-order, now is 25$) that you read in a couple of days. Don't get me wrong, I like the content, but, maybe I've just been following DHH and his "teachings" for so long that it didn't really teach me anything. I'll share it with a few coworkers and managers to see they're feedback. Also one thing I noticed, especially since I always read on my kindle, the book feels c I've got mixed feelings on this one. After reading remote and rework, this one feels kinda "cheap", in the sense that is a 18$ 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.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Romans Karpelcevs

    Bam! Bam! Bam! This book shoots advice from the third gen of the way of working in software development. Will everything from this book be there in the future? No. Will everything here work for you? No. Are some things only possible if you are already highly profitable and don't have external capital? Yes. And then still there is a TON of valid points, suggestions and directions everyone should at least consider, and implement some. Or your competitors will.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Adii Pienaar

    Listened to the audiobook. Love the clarity and conciseness of the book. It does so without losing any punch or impact too.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Mikhail Kulakov

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Мне книга оч понравилась. Есть над чем поразмыслить. Многое очень близко и своевременно для меня. Ну и JF конечно мастер слога! »»»»» Your company should be your best product. Every six weeks or so, we decide what we’ll be working on next. And that’s the only plan we have. Anything further out is considered a “maybe, we’ll see.” We simply believe that you’re better off steering the ship with a thousand little inputs as you go rather than a few grand sweeping movements made way ahead of time. We’re n Мне книга оч понравилась. Есть над чем поразмыслить. Многое очень близко и своевременно для меня. Ну и JF конечно мастер слога! »»»»» Your company should be your best product. Every six weeks or so, we decide what we’ll be working on next. And that’s the only plan we have. Anything further out is considered a “maybe, we’ll see.” We simply believe that you’re better off steering the ship with a thousand little inputs as you go rather than a few grand sweeping movements made way ahead of time. We’re not fans of estimates because, let’s face it, humans suck at estimating. But it turns out that people are quite good at setting and spending budgets. That’s why rather than jumping on every new idea right away, we make every idea wait a while. Generally a few weeks, at least. That’s just enough time either to forget about it completely or to realize you can’t stop thinking about it. Now they have a new thing to learn right in the middle of having an old thing to do. Arguing with heated feelings will just increase the burn.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Artjoms Haleckis

    Short and easy to read set of valuable advice. After working in different kind of companies, I have identified that calmness is one of the key factors when choosing my next workplace, and this book proved once again that it's possible to achieve easily. Thinking about incorporating asking to "describe how crazy it is at your work" to any potential employer during interviews.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Matt Goddard

    Jason fried and DHH have done a brilliant job with this book. It’s thought provoking and there are some really useful bit of advice. I’m certain that it’ll have a massive impact on how we work, just as rework, and remote did. Anyone who cares about achieving a sensible work life balance should read it.However I had one nagging doubt throughout reading it. I can see how a lot of what they share is pertinent to a company like Basecamp, which is focused on delivering their own product.What I’m less Jason fried and DHH have done a brilliant job with this book. It’s thought provoking and there are some really useful bit of advice. I’m certain that it’ll have a massive impact on how we work, just as rework, and remote did. 

Anyone who cares about achieving a sensible work life balance should read it.

However I had one nagging doubt throughout reading it. I can see how a lot of what they share is pertinent to a company like Basecamp, which is focused on delivering their own product.

What I’m less certain on is how some of these lessons can apply to consultancy business, or departments within enterprises (where changing the whole company culture is very difficult)

Managing a business of 5000 people is very different from managing a business of 50. Large organisation have a momentum that’s very difficult to change.

That’s said Fried and DHH day there are no such things as ‘best practice’ so steal what works, forget about the bits that don’t and I’m certain you’ll regain some control over you ‘working’ life.

One last thought: One thing that resonated with me as person who manages a remote team inside a large organisation. I’ve long sworn by Slack and other chat tools, reading Fried and DHH talk about using non-realtime messages made me think and I’m anxious to give it a try so that we can create a less intrusive space for the team to do what they do best, produce great products.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Koray Al

    Yet another reference book from Basecamp for the likes of me in software development industry. Just like 'Rework' and 'Remote' this book points to issues we feel that some things are wrong with but don't have the courage to put into words because of the way things 'are' in the business. Hearing those ideas from a 'success story' increases it's effect. Rework tried to convince employees that there is a better way to do work. Remote tried to convince employees and employers that 'the work' is not s Yet another reference book from Basecamp for the likes of me in software development industry. Just like 'Rework' and 'Remote' this book points to issues we feel that some things are wrong with but don't have the courage to put into words because of the way things 'are' in the business. Hearing those ideas from a 'success story' increases it's effect. Rework tried to convince employees that there is a better way to do work. Remote tried to convince employees and employers that 'the work' is not something constrained by walls. Now this book tries to convince employers that 'the sense of urgency' is not the key to the success.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Author interview on The Indicator, on why open office plans and instant messaging are awful: "Interruption is an arrogant act." https://www.stitcher.com/s?eid=558830...

  20. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    This is a ridiculously quick read full of insights and gems. There's so much space on the pages, though, that you'll feel like you're just reading a collection of tweets from the authors rather than an actual book. I'm totally on board with everything these Basecamp leaders advocate for. Yes to fewer meetings, yes to fewer disruptions, yes to getting deep work done. But of course, that's much easier said than done, especially when you're not in a leadership role at your company. It would have bee This is a ridiculously quick read full of insights and gems. There's so much space on the pages, though, that you'll feel like you're just reading a collection of tweets from the authors rather than an actual book. I'm totally on board with everything these Basecamp leaders advocate for. Yes to fewer meetings, yes to fewer disruptions, yes to getting deep work done. But of course, that's much easier said than done, especially when you're not in a leadership role at your company. It would have been nice to see more practical/in-depth suggestions for that type of situation.

  21. 5 out of 5

    William Fish

    This is sensible advice and the wisdom isn't common in my experience. It was enjoyable and highlights some of the weaknesses I hadn't recognised in my current job. I really enjoyed the ideas around distraction reduction. I'm expected to be in meetings constantly that generally amount to knee jerk opinions without any context and not very good listening skills from a lot of the technical team. I'd like to bring more upfront and light documentation ahead of meetings (maybe they're not necessary at This is sensible advice and the wisdom isn't common in my experience. It was enjoyable and highlights some of the weaknesses I hadn't recognised in my current job. I really enjoyed the ideas around distraction reduction. I'm expected to be in meetings constantly that generally amount to knee jerk opinions without any context and not very good listening skills from a lot of the technical team. I'd like to bring more upfront and light documentation ahead of meetings (maybe they're not necessary at all). Avoid context switching. Notice how leadership give themselves the time to think and generally push lower ranking members of staff a career-killing lack of focus.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Wai Lynn Zaw

    "Mark Twain nailed it: “Comparison is the death of joy.” We’re with Mark." "Requiring discomfort—or pain—to make progress is faulty logic" "Being comfortable in your zone is essential to being calm" "don’t tie more knots, cut more ties. The fewer bonds, the better"

  23. 5 out of 5

    Katja

    Wenn man 2018 nur ein einziges Business-Buch lesen will, dann würde ich das hier vorschlagen. In gewohnt kurzen und knackigen Kapiteln (1-3 Seiten lang) bringen die beiden Gründer von Basecamp die Themen auf den Punkt. Welcher Weg führt zu "Calm" - also zu einem ruhigen, gelassenen Management bzw. Unternehmen. Das ist streckenweise ganz schön provokant gegenüber herkömmlicher Management-Theorie, aber immer auch einleuchtend. Ganz oft kann man sich mal an die eigene Nase greifen, gerade beim Umga Wenn man 2018 nur ein einziges Business-Buch lesen will, dann würde ich das hier vorschlagen. In gewohnt kurzen und knackigen Kapiteln (1-3 Seiten lang) bringen die beiden Gründer von Basecamp die Themen auf den Punkt. Welcher Weg führt zu "Calm" - also zu einem ruhigen, gelassenen Management bzw. Unternehmen. Das ist streckenweise ganz schön provokant gegenüber herkömmlicher Management-Theorie, aber immer auch einleuchtend. Ganz oft kann man sich mal an die eigene Nase greifen, gerade beim Umgang mit Zeit und diversen Verhaltensweisen bei Stress. Ich hatte lange nicht mehr beim Lesen so oft das Bedürfnis, mir Zitate zu markieren und Ideen rauszuschreiben. Lohnt sich auch nicht nur für Manager, sondern eigentlich für jeden, der arbeitet :)

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jaran

    I guess asking me to review this is similar to asking a Christian to review the bible, or a teenager to review the latest song from Justin Bieber. I am as biased here as I can be, so you should not listen to me. Read the book yourself!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jaana Metsamaa

    I have very much enjoyed books by Jason Fried. I have definitely worked in the scary non-calm company he describes and I am lucky I no longer do. No matter if you do or not, reading this is a good reminder how things could be calm and maybe it could even calm you down. It is a super fast read as all of his books.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Guilherme Ferreira

    Jason and David, did a great job again, thourgh well-written and extreme lean articles, they inspire us to seek and build a calm work environment, this book is full of tips for all kinds of companies

  27. 4 out of 5

    Adolfo Neto

    I have read all their books and this one is their best. Easy to read yet profound. I would like to work for a company such as Basecamp. If I were an entrepreneur, I would try, as much as possible, to adapt their ideas to my company.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Alison

    I'd recommend this book to owners, founders and senior leaders - anyone who can influence or dictate workplace norms. I would not recommend this book to most employees, as they will probably want to quit their job and go work at Basecamp. It sounds like Basecamp's founders (and this book's authors) have done a great job creating a calm culture through trial and error and mindful choices. They challenge commonly held assumptions and address many of my personal grievances of corporate life, such a I'd recommend this book to owners, founders and senior leaders - anyone who can influence or dictate workplace norms. I would not recommend this book to most employees, as they will probably want to quit their job and go work at Basecamp. It sounds like Basecamp's founders (and this book's authors) have done a great job creating a calm culture through trial and error and mindful choices. They challenge commonly held assumptions and address many of my personal grievances of corporate life, such as 24/7 communication, never-ending chat, growth without question, etc. I also appreciate their writing style: it reads like a conversation (complete with swearing in the same places I'd sprinkle f-bombs) and concise. (Either they have more restraint than the average writer, or they have a hell of an editor.) My two criticisms: 1. The tone should be a bit more humble. These guys run a successful multi-million business with 40 people, so they've definitely earned their stripes, but in the scheme of things, a 40 person company has a different set of challenges than larger organizations. They have an obligatory nod to that in here once or twice, but the overall tone seems to be, "We've got it all figured out. Anyone doing something else is an idiot." 2. They trash on goals. Don't get me wrong - I tend to think a lot of goals are useless and demoralizing. There's an art to setting effective and motivating goals. And some goals are absolutely critical to help multiple people coordinate so they know they're a) moving in the right direction and b) making progress. I feel like they've thrown the baby out with the bathwater here because they've not yet discovered how to set effective goals. Alas. Overall, it's a solid read and one I'll probably give as gifts to the founders/owners and other top-level executives in my life. And I'll eagerly await their next book - which probably does nothing to contribute to the humility I wish they possessed. :)

  29. 5 out of 5

    André Gomes

    I don't think this way of running a business would work for everyone and every company (they don't claim that either), but it is very original, makes sense, it is healthier and better for the long term. Makes you think about your choices, and realize that there are other ways of running a business and creating a better culture for you and coworkers. Maybe we don't have to embrace all that paranoia... Maybe.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jitariu Catalin

    It's a great book not as a book per se, but as a proof that things can be different then we are made to believe. It's like a fairy tale that takes you in a different time and place. It shows you some things can work in the real world if you think about others as people, not as a way to achieve billions.

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