Lectures : Rework de Jason Fried et David Heinemeier Hansson

Il existe des centaines de livres sur le management, tentant d’expliquer à coups de concepts et d’exemples édifiants la meilleure manière d’organiser le travail, de satisfaire les clients ou de mobiliser les équipes. Bien souvent tout ceci semble bien théorique, loin des réalités vécues dans n’importe quelle organisation.

Rework n’est pas un livre sur le management comme les autres. Le titre trahit d’ailleurs l’ambition des auteurs, l’objectif est bien de réapprendre à travailler et non d’adapter légèrement l’existant.

Dans un style simple et direct, les dirigeants de Basecamp nous rappellent les fondements du succès : frugalité, obsession du client et simplicité. C’est un témoignage inspirant et plein de bon sens à lire et à relire pour ne jamais perdre de vue les principes clés pour diriger une structure.

Voici quelques citations tirées du livre qui résume bien la philosophie gagnante des patrons de Basecamp.


You want your customers to say, « this make my life better » You want to feel that if you stopped doing what you do, people would notice.


Great businesses have a point of view, not just a product or a service […]. If no one’s upset by what you’re saying, you’re probably not pushing hard enough (And you’re probably boring too).

Start up

The start up is a magical place. It’s a place where expenses are someone’s else problem.

A business without a path to profit isn’t a business, it’s a hobby.


Constraints are advantages in disguise. Limited resources force you to make do with what you’ve got. There’s no room for waste. And that forces you to be creative.

You’re better with a kick-ass half that a half-assed whole.


Whenever you can, swap « Let’s think about it » for « Let’s decide on it ». Commit to make decisions. Don’t wait for the perfect solution. Decide and move forward. 

You can’t build on the top of « We’ll decide later », but you can build on top of « Done ». 

Project management

When things aren’t working, the natural inclinaton is to throw more at the problem. More people, time and money. All that ends up doing is making the problem bigger. The right way to go is the opposite direction: cut back.


The core of your business should be built around things that won’t change.

In business, too many people obsess over tools, software tricks, scaling issues, fancy office space, lavish furniture, and other frivolities instead of what really matters. And what really matters is how to actually get customers and make money. 


The problem with abstractions (like reports and documents) is that they create illusions of agreement.


Interruption is the ennemy of productivity. The worst interruption of all are meetings.


Find a judo solution: one that delivers maximum efficiency with minimum effort.


The way you build momentum is by getting something done and then moving on to the next thing.


We’re all terrible estimators. We think we can guess how long something will take, when we have really no idea. The solution: break the big thing into smaller things. The smaller it is, the easier it is to estimate.


It’s tempting to try to build a business by being a copycat. That’s a formula for failure, though. The problem with this sort of copying is it skips understanding and understanding is how you grow.


Do less than your competitors to beat them. Solve the simple problems and leave the hairy, difficult, nasty problems to the competition. Instead  of one-upping, try one-downing. Instead of outdoing, try underdoing.


Don’t believe that « customer is always right » stuff, either.

Companies need to be true to a type of customer more than a specific individual customer with changing needs.


When you build an audience, you don’t have to buy people’s attention, they give it to you.


As a business owner, you should share everything you know.

Letting people behind the curtain changes your relationship with them. They’ll feel a bond with you and see you as human beings instead of a faceless company.


Marketing is not a department. This is something everyone in your company is doing 24/7/365.


Don’t hire for pleasure; hire to kill pain.

Hire great writers. Clear writing is a sign of clear thinking.


You don’t create a culture. It happens […]. Culture is the by-product of consistent behaviour.


Skip the rock-stars […]. There’s a ton on untapped potential trapped under lame policies, poor direction and stifling bureaucracies.


Send people home at 5 […]. You don’t need more hours, you need better hours.