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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 (34 ratings)

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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

What listeners say about It Doesn't Have to Be Crazy at Work

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Books don't have to be crazy long

Was waiting for the book for months, and it didn't disappoint. In a calm, slow manner, authors deliver their philosophy on how to stay calm in this crazy world. Book is about business but thoughts can be applied anywhere.

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Very inspiring book.

Although it is not rocket science, and this is not "Hot do, or What to do" when you have a business, but more like a biography of how Basecamp is doing things.

All in all a good and quick read.

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Excellent advice.

Excellent advice. Probably a bit too specific to the authors’ own company and experience, but still very relevant to most people. The swearing is a bit much. Overall I really enjoyed it.

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awesome little book

I can definitely relate to a lot of the stories mentioned in the book as bad examples of a workplace. I can especially recommend to people in management positions!

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A description of nirvana, but not a How To

Fell flat with me. A list of idealistic work values that are not backed by any real evidence or instruction (opposite of How Google Works, which is a similar idea - outlining company culture - but everything is evidence backed).

One of my key takeaways was to aim low and remain calm... which seems a little crazy to me.

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Some very sensible advice

I enjoyed this short book. As someone who has spent many years working for various software companies and has experienced all of the bad stuff described herein, this was an interesting book. Whilst many of the ideas themselves are not necessarily revelatory to a grizzled veteran of the industry, they are quite revolutionary (as in, they are not generally being done). Of course, it made me want to work at Basecamp (or somewhere with a very similar ethos), but I don’t think it’s just an extended pitch for how cool they are but, rather, for how cool their processes are. I reckon it should be required reading for anybody running a software company.

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  • aayushvarora
  • 07-10-18

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.

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  • Mario Zaizar
  • 09-04-19

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.

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  • Dev345
  • 10-11-18

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.

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  • Lucas Paulger
  • 14-03-19

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.

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  • John Simon
  • 02-07-19

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.

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  • Max
  • 02-10-18

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.

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  • Arnie S Malham
  • 25-05-20

Radically Appealing!!

While not everyone will be ready for this journey to a radically better culture, those that are will gain significant wisdom, opportunity, and wonder as motivation. Thank you for delivering a great view into Basecamp's world!!

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  • Mark Paulson
  • 10-05-20

Extremely inspiring vision for operations

Wonderfully challenging in all the good ways. Fried and Hansson clearly put everyone's sanity first - their employees, their customers, and themselves too. Anything worth doing is rarely easy but then doing it the hard way makes it even harder. Fried and Hansson here share their many learnings (to date) of how to go an easier route than what so many dismiss or would never consider. I applaud these guys... they are truly leaders.

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  • J. C. Rotich
  • 16-04-20

Very useful book with practical ideas

I often refer to Jason Fried and DHH as the patrons of remote work and from this book, they are also patrons of calm companies that actually mind the wellbeing of their employees.
I would highly recommend this to all startup CEOs who wanna be StayUp CEOs.

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  • Adam Kaewell
  • 30-11-19

Great book, tons of content, short read

It was very relatable in many ways. I have worked as a software engineer in a startup for 5 years and the content in this book provides a better path forward in your career that involves less stress & friction towards solving problems.