Earlier this year, Jason Fried and David Hansson from 37 Signals released Rework, a book of advice to entrepreneurs. Several weeks ago, Darmesh Shah of HubSpot wrote a post at OnStartups listing his 37 favorite insights in the book.
Now, I’ve read a bunch of posts from Darmesh Shah and he’s a bright guy. And I respect 37 Signals for challenging conventional wisdom. However, the comments from the post and the reviews of the book tout this book as the new conventional wisdom. And that I think is dangerous.
There are no absolutes in life, and there certainly aren’t any absolutes in starting up a company. And while the insights may work for some startups, they can be disastrous for other startups. The key to successfully using insights like these, is knowing when they apply. So this post is a devil’s advocate post that attempts to provide some context to these insights, based on my own experience starting and running several companies over the past 13 years.
To be clear, I have not read Rework. I’m specifically commenting on the insights posted by Darmesh, since these are similar to many nuggets of wisdom I’ve been told over the years without being told when they apply. It’s not that these nuggets were wrong; they were just incomplete and lacked context. Many of the mistakes I’ve made have come from applying the right solution to the wrong problem. Continue reading >