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It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work Summary

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It Doesn't Have to Be Crazy at Work PDF Summary

First and foremost, it doesn’t matter whether you describe yourself as an entrepreneur or not.

What does matter is your strength to improve the quality of your life, and not to sacrifice everything for the sake of nothing.

Working on weekends and staying longer hours don’t imply willpower, but lack of direction.

Still don’t get it? – Allow us to go a bit deeper.

Who Should Read “It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work”? And Why?

For all those working people, this book comes as a blessing in disguise.

At first, you may feel like you don’t have the power to influence your organization, but you do yield enough influence to change your approach.

With that said, it’s pretty clear as to why “It Doesn’t Have to be Crazy at Work” is very well suited for the broader audience.

It resonates with most people, regardless of their whereabouts and cultural tenets.

We urge you to give it a quick read.

About Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson

Jason Fried

Jason Fried is an entrepreneurial maniac and a true devotee of revolutionary entrepreneurship.

He doesn’t want to abide by collective norms, and through his books, Jason attempts to redefine success and prosperity.

David Heinemeier Hansson is the co-founder of Basecamp and the creator of the software toolkit Ruby on Rails.

David Heinemeier Hansson

Jason and David also co-wrote two other books:

“It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work PDF Summary”

You are not from this planet if you haven’t heard the statement “It’s crazy at work.” Well, allow us to cut you lose, and say to you that – It doesn’t have to be!

Nowadays, we see people working themselves to the bone, and for what? – We don’t have time on weekends, no time to take a walk, no spare time to spend outdoors or have a hobby. As if we are put in this gigantic bubble that just can’t seem to pop.

Such a lifestyle has taken a toll on our emotional state and keeps us imprisoned.

You should not be given a medal for staying longer hours, because it’s a mark of ignorance, not determination. You might believe that all the technology existing nowadays should make things easier, but it’s actually getting crazier by the day.

  • Fewer hours = Less bullshit
  • Less bullshit = More Happiness

The answer isn’t working longer hours; it’s working better!  

So, Jason and David lay out two lifestyle attitudes you should espouse to overcome this excessive need to work:

  • Fuck That
  • Enough Already

It’s probably not the most stylish advice you’ve come across, but it sure is effective.

You have to bear in mind that any company resembles the process of software development life cycle. From time to time, you’ll experience bugs, crashes, glitches, caused by bad cultural or organizational design.

When you start perceiving your company as a product, many new possibilities crop up, and you have to leverage that situation. It helps you get an aerial view of what’s causing all the issues, and discover a way to put an end to the inefficiencies.

At Basecamp, all of the people had to pitch in, with the intention of enforcing full-scale flexibility. When it comes to negotiating salaries, and proving other perks, Basecamp struggled like any other company.

They didn’t, however, separate their company from their actual product but leaned on integration. The hustle-mania that seems to plague the entrepreneurial world, and influences the entrepreneurial mindset, must be brought to light.

It’s time to pull yourself together!

For some, the hustle mania is a beacon of hope that seems to provide comfort to those in need. However, if you are solely driven by the idea of outsmarting or outmaneuvering your rivals, then you’ll most definitely dry out.

If you want to incite creativity and fuel your creative expression, then you have to abandon the idea of relying on brute force. Entrepreneurship is more than just an epic battle; it’s an idea far greater than the hustle, you’ve been forced to adopt.

You are allowed to spring into action but beware of this megalomania that is omnipresent throughout the business community.

The Happy Pacifist and the No-Goal Rule

The business world incentivizes fights to the last drop of blood, face smeared with dirt, and heart filled with destruction. The trajectory of war generates death, treachery, deceit, and abandoning the moral grounds. The dirtier it gets, the easier it is to justify your actions as a necessary evil.

But what if you come in peace?

You want yours, and don’t want to take theirs? – Don’t want to dominate any market, crush your rivals, and receive a pat on the back for being a jerk.

A lot of top-notch brands are driven by comparison; they even define their KPIs based on the competition and their closest rivals. Mark Twain sums it up very nicely: Competition is the death of joy! You can interpret this demise in whatever way you see fit, but at the end of the day, you need to destroy obsolete ideas, not other companies.

It may come as a shock to you, but Jason and David don’t set any goals whatsoever.

Basecamp differs from other businesses mainly due to their unusual method of enhancing productivity. Although they want to increase their revenues, sales, minimize their CAC; they don’t resort to a hustle mania.

The Meaningless Revolution

The business community is suffering from what Jason and David would like to call it – ambition hyperinflation. Providing something valuable to the market is no longer enough. Nowadays, everyone is trying to rediscover the wheel incentivized by the BRAND-NEW THING mindset.

We don’t do grand plans at Basecamp—not for the company, not for the product. There’s no five-year plan. No three-year plan. No one-year plan. Nada.

You are not required to change the world, only to build, create, or modify something that a certain target audience desperately needs. All of a sudden, we all strive to become the next Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, or Bill Gates! Why put so much pressure on your company and yourself, when the real magic lies in creativity, not brute force.

Working all day is not a life-approach you should endorse, by any stretch of the imagination. Take the burden off, and start thinking logically.

No one is saying that you should not advocate for standards that could improve the outcome. The only objection that Jason and David have is with the whole hysteria of being better, and bring about a revolution in some market segments.

You cannot know the future beforehand, the more you think you control it, the fuzzier it becomes.

It is needless to say that the best timing to make up your mind, is at the moment of execution, anything other than that is just sheer nonsense.  

No Family BullSh*t

Jason and David argue that Basecamp is no family-oriented organization, and it’s totally disingenuous to pretend otherwise.

All of these principles are best explained through the process of taking the right actions.

Implementing the right policies is yet another tool at your disposal.

So, before you go justifying your workaholic orientation, just remember that you are a group of people working together bonded by a common goal, nothing more.

You can be friends, but family – that’s not fooling anyone.

The modern company isn’t a street gang filled with orphans trying to make it in the tough, tough world. Trying to supplant the family you likely already have is just another way to attempt to put the needs of the company above the needs of your actual family. That’s a sick ploy.  

The Sleep Cheat and the Bad Hire

Sleep deprivation is not something you should be bragging about.

Scientists and doctors agree that sleep deprivation batters your IQ, impedes your creativity, and make you depressed.

Everyone around you will notice that, and there’s no backdoor exit.

So, stop fooling people by saying stuff like:

  • You gotta take it, to make it
  • Great achievements require even greater sacrifice

Don’t fall for that, and get a good night’s rest! It will help you function better during the day, improve your creativity and expand your ideas.

Of course, there are exceptions, but it mustn’t become your policy.

When it comes to hiring people, there are two major problems most managers face upon hiring.

If they come to the conclusion that the person on the job, is not doing good work they are prone to make a choice:

  • Fire him/her
  • Tolerate the lack of performance at the expense of the organization

At Basecamp, it doesn’t matter how “embellished” is your Resume if you are a jerk and people can’t stand you. What’s even more interesting about Basecamp, is that they’re on the lookout for diversity (not in a mainstream way) but in cultural preferences.

They don’t take your word for it; they see how you integrate with people and how you can invigorate the company.

People don’t like change?!

We have to stop you right there and urge you to rack your brains on this one.

It all boils down to the idea of forced change, which ordinary hardworking people detest. They’re not given any choice, to begin with!

How often have you seen customers complaining about something you’ve done with the intention to make it better? – Yeah, we said better!

Well, that’s the price of progress, and more advanced is always better, but that’s not true now is it?

At Basecamp, the early adopters are not compelled to switch to the modern version.

They are all allowed to work and operate within their comfort zone, and that’s the beauty of it!

And the most ambiguous part of all – things become harder as you go. The truth is, Day 1 is the easiest one you’ll have. As you start hiring people, you’ll face new responsibilities, new challenges and things only go further down the line.

That’s the reality, and also the feature of running a business.

Key Lessons from “It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work”

1.      Don’t get your hopes up
2.      Break the chains of illusion
3.      Don’t take life for granted

Don’t get your hopes up

Wait, what? – Well, the idea of following your dreams, and thinking positive is overestimated. Indeed, action is the only the only bridge standing between satisfaction and misery.

Don’t get this the wrong way; you are allowed to raise the bar and do whenever you want.

Our only argument is that you just have to perceive the world through the lens of rationality and take actions to improve your current situation.

Break the chains of illusion

Working 80 hours a week for the rest of your life isn’t something that you should consider a success. It’s quite the opposite.

Even if you are an artist or an entrepreneur of outstanding merit, you’ll still be strangled by the concepts you impose upon yourself.

Success is happiness, not the end result of a workaholic attitude.

Don’t take life for granted

I am going to start living; once I have all the money! Sounds familiar? – We bet it does.

Life passes by, and you overlook the small things that give life a meaning. So, shake your head, and wake up!

Like this summary? We’d Like to invite you to download our free 12 min app, for more amazing summaries and audiobooks.

“It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work Quotes”

Respect the work that you’ve never done before. Click To Tweet Any conversation with more than three people is typically a conversation with too many people. Click To Tweet Chaos should not be the natural state at work. Click To Tweet It’s not worth trading sleep for a few extra hours at the office. Not only will it make you exhausted, it literally makes you stupid. Click To Tweet Questions bring options; decrees burn them. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Any message would be very well-received insofar as it implies that the organization is not forced to revamp its structure. However, not all are keen to follow this logic, and most fear an alteration.

To sum it up, an organization that has fewer problems, it correspondingly functions a lot better. Moreover, the idea of building a hustle-free company is not feasible, but you can ease off the tension and allow creativity to swoop in.

You are now equipped with the knowledge to capitalize on Jason and David’s ideas and tips.

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