Rework

Rework is a book by 37signals founders Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson.  This book has a very unique format. Every other page contains a graphic summarizing one big business idea, then the following page provides a short story to support the idea. In essence, the book is one big stack of flash cards with business lessons. It's possible to read this book out of order and it's a useful reference guide to have on the shelf.

  1. Embrace Constraints.  Throw Less at the Problem.  Limited resources forces you to be creative what you have.
  2. Ignore the Details Early On.  During the early stage of a business, it is important to focus on the key strengths and not try to do too much.
  3. Focus on what Won't change.  Rather than chasing the next big thing, focus on the characteristics of business that will always be in high demand. For example, Amazon.com focuses on fast shipping, great selection, friendly return policies and affordable prices.  Japanese automakers focus on reliability and practicality, and 37signals focus on speed, simplicity and ease of use.  These characteristics are timeless.
  4. Make Tiny Decisions. Big decisions are hard to make and hard to change. So make many choices that are small enough that they're effectively temporary. This way you won't make big mistakes, and you have the chance to adjust as you go.
  5. Underdo your Competition. Instead of adding ever more features, try adding less and aim for simplicity. Examples include single-gear bicycles, the Flip camera, and the iPod shuffle.