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It Doesn't Have to Be Crazy at Work

Narrated by: Eileen Stevens
Length: 3 hrs and 18 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (51 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In this timely manifesto, the authors of the New York Times best-seller Rework broadly reject the prevailing notion that long hours, aggressive hustle, and "whatever it takes" are required to run a successful business today.

In Rework, Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson introduced a new path to working effectively. Now, they build on their message with a bold, iconoclastic strategy for creating the ideal company culture - what they call "the calm company". Their approach directly attacks the chaos, anxiety, and stress that plagues millions of workplaces and hampers billions of workers every day.

Long hours, an excessive workload, and a lack of sleep have become a badge of honor for modern professionals. But it should be a mark of stupidity, the authors argue. Sadly, this isn’t just a problem for large organizations - individuals, contractors, and solopreneurs are burning themselves out the same way. The answer to better productivity isn’t more hours - it’s less waste and fewer things that induce distraction and persistent stress.

It’s time to stop celebrating crazy and start celebrating calm, Fried and Hansson assert.

Fried and Hansson have the proof to back up their argument. "Calm" has been the cornerstone of their company’s culture since Basecamp began 20 years ago. Destined to become the management guide for the next generation, It Doesn't Have to Be Crazy at Work is a practical and inspiring distillation of their insights and experiences. It isn’t an audiobook telling you what to do. It’s an audiobook showing you what they’ve done - and how any manager or executive, no matter the industry or size of the company, can do it, too.

©2018 Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

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Average Customer Ratings

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • seb
  • 2019-04-05

you are in for a 8 hour commercial for basecamp

when i purchased this book, i thought it was about stress in the workplace. the book is actually about how good basecamp is.
some companies do this , basecamp does the opposite .
some companies set goals, basecamp doesn't.
some companies set long term goals , basecamp does the opposite
for 8 hours it will give an example of what someone does then tell you the reason basecamp does it better. some was contradictory, a few points were good ideas (the reason i gave 3 stars).
the title should have said it is a story about basecamp, the title was misleading.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent guide to a terrific company.

Through explaining how they do things, Basecamp shows that it truly doesn't need to be crazy at work. I loved hearing how they learned and changed how they do things to make a better environment for getting work done and being happy at work.

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  • TG
  • 2018-12-13

Great work, similar to other books

The books from this team follow a very similar theme that is beneficial to hear: slow down and do less but do what you do well and enjoy it. Their books tend not to offer strict guidance and instead generalities. Not extremely different from their other books.

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    5 out of 5 stars

Great

simple and clear. I did love it. Focus in what matters and avoid distractions as a result things will get done on time

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  • aayushvarora
  • 2018-10-07

Good to listen. Hard to implement.

The ideas in this book are good. The 'how' was missing. Below expectations. There's a lot of talk about what should be and negligible discussion about how it's achieved. Can't deduce much insight from how to implement this.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Dev345
  • 2018-11-10

Worst. Business Book. Ever.

This has got to be the dumbest business book on the marketing today. I could barely get half-way through it before I couldn't take it anymore and deleted it. 99.99% of companies would fail miserably if they followed most of the advice in it. Maybe a handful of single-product specialty software companies and a neighborhood pizzeria would be successful with it. (and that pizza better be really good.) The advice here is often presented as an absolute -- all meetings are bad ... never interrupt your co-workers ... never set goals. really? If there is one true absolute in business it's that there's no single approach that works for most companies ... you have to adapt to situations, competition, the marketplace. Most of what they suggest boils down to "be a nice, respectful co-worker." Okay ... yeah, but that's it? What happens when you have real shareholders ... varied customers, meaningful competitors? These authors have no doubt created a great product, but it would have been far better to write a narrative on how they did that and why these business practices were effective for them ... and perhaps some suggestions on ways to implement the ones that make the most sense for your organization. Instead they come off as arrogant, sheltered and utterly tone-deaf to what most businesses deal with. I wish I could get my money back on this one.

16 of 20 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2018-10-02

Amazing book that everyone in the software industry should read, period.

If you’re in a software industry (and a bunch of other industries to be honest), this book is a must read whether you’re running a company, leading a team or just working.
There’s just so much good stuff in this book!
Just go read it. Read it now. Stop reading this review and read the book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • John Simon
  • 2019-07-02

A More Sensible Way...

This simply reinforces why I want to work for and with Jason, David, and the Basecamp contingent, as they understand people and product come before profit, not in spite of or in light of. If you pour your curious heart into working effectively towards the best product, you will inevitably create all the desires and efficiencies in the workspace.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mario Zaizar
  • San Francisco
  • 2019-04-09

Good story with a little bit of patronizing.

Don't get me wrong, the content and reflections are good in essence, and makes sense to apply them in our current industry, but I felt the tone a bit patronizing and condescending. I would love to hear about how to implement this ideas rather than hear how amazing it went for Basecamp Inc.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Lucas Paulger
  • 2019-03-14

Too biased and only speak from experience not from statistical analysis on performance

I liked reading "remote" which was also written from experience, and I enjoyed it, but this book just felt too opinionated and seemingly written from a perspective of arrogance that all their decisions were right.

Honestly I get that it's what they know, but at some point it would be nice to have some statistics or more information behind why they made these decisions and not just "that" they made them and they were good.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Charlie Dyer
  • 2019-07-13

bits and pieces

I agree with about half of this book maybe more. there are a lot of things in here that won't work for many companies but I do think there is some good stuff. I'd suggest it to another business owner with a protective ear.

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  • David bonet Montes
  • 2019-07-07

Confirming and inspiring.

Ideas I had when I when I was a kid and I was discovering the world got stepped in when I grew and entered in the corporate "adult" world. This book brings these simple, clear and powerful ideas back and shows that we weren't wrong.

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  • Alireza
  • 2019-06-06

lots of seemingly good ideas but untested

The only company that was used as a reference of successful implementation of and growth, calm etc company is the author's own company Basecamp. These ideas are not tested but would be great to see them work in other places as well. Nobody I know dislikes a calm culture :)

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  • Steven King
  • ALEXANDRIA, VA, US
  • 2019-05-31

Helpful and interesting

It is helpful and interesting and I hope to implement many of the ideas but the book has no flow or narrative organization and seems like a collection of chapters.

I really appreciate the perspective and a business book not being all about money and efficiency and drive for more.

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  • Pierre Gauthier
  • 2018-11-25

Not very Substantial!

It is revealing for our current times that the importance of being able to concentrate on work, at the workplace, should be a pertinent topic for discussion.

This book deals with the specific case of Basecamp, a software company based in Chicago.

The elements presented are interesting: limited ambitions for the company, limited work hours for the employees with set vacations and a sabbatical leave expected for everyone, conversations in the open space limited to whispers, etc.

Sadly, the material could easily be covered in a well written article and there is just not enough material for a whole book. Thus, despite its short length, the reader is beset with countless repetitions. These are aggravating and greatly reduce the impact of the ideas that are conveyed. The abundant and casual use of profanity, perhaps intended to be “cool”, highlights the shallowness of thought and the relative scarcity of substance.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2018-10-07

Out of scope, waste of time

Basecamp seems to be a "lifestyle company" where everybody has a good living and working conditions, very high salaries, reduced working hours and lots of advantages. Ok Basecamp, I'm very happy for you, your shareholders and your employees. It looks like you have succeeded well in your very profitable business.

But if you have a small scale business or a startup working hard to succeed, and searching some original advices to increase your everyday work and life quality, don't waste your time with this book.

As for the writing style, use a hundred times "f.ck this f.ck that," "what the f.ck," is weak and rude. We understood you have nothing to f.ck. at Basecamp. But there are other ways to emphasize in writing.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful