➻ Nick Summers delivered a great review of Rework for Newsweek. It’s an even-handed take not only of the book, but also the company its authors founded and lead—37signals. My favorite line in the article is actually a criticism of the authors: “They can sound like the business equivalent of kids in Clash T shirts, sneering at phony acts who have sold out.”
We’re all big fans of the book here, possibly because most of us are or were the equivalent of those “kids in Clash T shirts” in some way, so we can relate to the sentiment. But, also, because it’s just a damn fine book that is as accessible as any you’ll come across and doesn’t pretend to be something it’s not. The metaphor Summers ends the article with nails it:
It all comes down to one of its many management rules: emulate chefs. Great ones, like Julia Child and Mario Batali, share everything they know, from recipes to technique. Rework, write Fried and Heinemeier Hansson, is their cookbook.
➻ Jason Fried described himself in his first article for Inc. Magazine: “I think of myself as wildly ambitious and unapologetically lazy.” (I don’t know if that’s all that different from the “kids in a Clash T shirt,” actually.) He also offers this sage advice:
Instead of spending your time worrying about what could, might, or may happen, spend your time on what matters now. Are your customers thrilled with your service today? Is your inbox flooded with word-of-mouth referrals today? Do your employees love their jobs today? Can people find what they’re looking for on your website today?
➻ One of my favorite articles this week was Edan Lepucki’s Ceasing to Exist: Three Months in the Social Media Detox Ward in The Millions. After kicking an addiction to social media in an attempt to concentrate on writing for a few months, she developed a very different point of view of the medium:
These days, I feel no pull whatsoever toward Twitter, despite the number of fabulous people there. In my mind, it’s a crowded elevator where everyone’s talking over one another. They’re all saying interesting things, but who can keep track?
I couldn’t agree more with those words, but I think Carolyn Kellogg is right to consider the following (especially for business book authors):
On the one hand, a writer should walk away from anything that keeps them from writing, be it alcohol, a lousy boyfriend or the insta-communication social networking maw of Twitter. On the other hand, I wonder whether it’s particularly vital for new writers to stay connected online.
➻ John Hagel III, John Seely Brown and Lang Davison, authors of The Power of Pull, ask Are All Employees Knowledge Workers? The article ends with some helpful questions to ask yourself:
What about your own role? Does it have creative aspects that are less than fully recognized or acknowledged? In what ways could your employer help you develop the creative aspects of your job? Where would you draw the line in your company between creative talent and the rest of the workforce?
➻ The prize for the best headline of the week goes to Publishers Weekly for Calvin Reid’s article, Fat Vampires, Sexy Werewolves and the Future of Teen Reading.
➻ Nicholas Carr is “not under any illusion that progress gives a damn about what [he] want[s],” which is what makes his take on the iPad one of my favorites. He also wrote recently about the iPad as the post book-book, saying “As a text delivery system, the iPad is perfectly suited to readers who don’t read anymore.”
➻ “Yellow is the color of my true love’s crossbow.”