Why did I choose to read the book?
Amazon really wanted me to read this book. For quite some time, their recommendation engine kept bugging me to read it. The cover was nice (don’t judge a book by it’s cover, I know…), the premise was interesting enough and the price was alright, so I thought, what the hell.
What is it about?
Written by the founders of 37Signals, a small US company, selling team collaboration and customer relationship solutions, this book covers lessons learned and best practices by the founders. The authors explain how doing less is sometimes more, how iteration of a product or service is the way to go, how staying lean can help flexibility or that focus on growth can hurt a product. Mostly though, this book is about focus. Focus on what you can do and what you yourself need or would need, if you were your own customer. Focus on yourself and your product, not competition. Be proud of what you do and the things you don’t do. Don’t bend yourself over backwards, to add silly features, so you can serve every possible customer. Don’t be that restaurant that tries to serve everyone via a gigantic menu, but focus on a few dishes and do them remarkably well.
How did I like the book?
While the book’ focus is on start-ups and small businesses, the ideas presented, can just as well be used on everything else as well. I for my part, will use some ideas, to better serve internal customers. My favourite part, was a passage about “sometimes good enough is just that, good enough”. Often times, there is no need for a fancy and most likely expensive solution, as with some good ideas and a little spit here and there, small solutions to big problems might just do the trick, until you need to or have the time to get around to implementing the fancy one. While the books content is highly subjective and is by no means academic, the ideas presented are great none the less. It doesn’t revolutionize, but the way it summarizes and often questions conventional belief, make for a good and quick read.