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Rework Excerpt

January 30th, 2012
Rework

I’m currently reading “Rework” by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, the founders of 37signals. I haven’t quite finished the book but the following excerpt seemed relevant to my posts of late and my current predicament:

Hire great writers

If you are trying to decide among a few people to fill a position, hire the best writer. It doesn’t matter if that person is a marketer, salesperson, designer, programmer, or whatever; their writing skills pay off.

That’s because being a good writer is about more than writing. Clear writing is a sign of clear thinking. Great writers know how to communicate. They make things easy to understand. They can put themselves in some else’s shoes. They know what to omit. And those qualities you want in any candidate.

Writing is making a comeback all over our society. Look at how much people e-mail and text-message now rather than talk on the phone. Look at how much communication happens via instant messaging and blogging. Writing is today’s currency of good ideas.

I am still unemployed. I once again was not the person they were looking for during my most recent job interview. Apparently I could have done a better job of selling myself. One thing I did mention was that I was probably the only person in my MBA class who got a perfect score on the written composition portion of the GMAT exam. I neglected to mention that my team also got the highest score in our class for our mandatory business plan and I had final edit. We also got the highest score on our PowerPoint presentation which I made on my PowerBook.

I keep writing cover letters and I’ve looked at way too many job postings. I honestly have run out of ideas.

Update: A lot of time has passed and I’ve never fully recovered from my MBA or my post-MBA job search and you guessed it, I’m once again looking for a new job. This time I claim to have passed all three CFA® exams but if anyone doubts my writing skills, I hopefully can point to this website and blog which should be at its best of all time thanks to extensive upgrades and improvements to start 2019.

The book itself reads almost like a series of blog postings. Each section is only a few pages long and is separated from the previous section by a title page or a drawing.  37signals is a web based business which employees staff in multiple locations both to do consulting work and to build a series of web applications. Jason and David also maintain a very popular blog Signal vs Noise. Their book revels in its contrariness. It is not at all like the recommended text during my entrepreneurship class, “New Venture Creation: Entrepreneurship in the 21st Century” a mammoth tome I didn’t even try to read until after I graduated.

Some of Jason and David’s advice will not be applicable to your business, especially if your business is more traditional say a cafe or a butcher shop. Location is very important to those businesses and they need to invest in equipment and inventory prior to opening, ditto for brew pubs. “Rework” is a quick read and some chapters/suggestions are quite clever and can be worked into most businesses, others will be harder to implement outside the Web 2.0 universe. Check it out if you’re looking for a new business book.

I provided a collected of resources for entrepreneurs in another blog post, I’ve also provided advice for writing better even for blogging better.

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