"Getting Real" Book Writeup

October 28, 2010

Getting Real Book Cover Getting Real 37 Signals ISBN: 0578012812

What’s the point? The book is primarily about how to run a lean start-up. By having less features, less organizational bloat, and bootstrapping yourself, they argue that you will have a more successful business. The main takeaway I got was to just start actually working on something; build half a product, not a half-ass product. Don’t worry about how you will scale for 10,000 users when you don’t even have 10 users.

How was it? There are tons of practical examples in this book and it is full of great advice for running your own small business. I am familiar with working in a lean environment, but there were some new ideas about how to make your customers happy that I think could be valuable. The book is a quick read, most of the chapters are broken down into 1-2 page essays which makes it easy to come back later and pick up a new piece of advice that you may have missed the first time. I really liked the closing thoughts in the book:

Everyone can read a book. Everyone can come up with an idea. Everyone has a cousin that’s a web designer. Everyone can write a blog. Everyone can hire someone to hack together some code.

The difference between you and everyone else will be how well you execute. Success is all about great execution.

Who should read it? There is a little something for everyone in this book. Feature selection and coding practices for developers, organizational tips and staffing for managers, and promotions and sales techniques for marketing and business development.

Notes: I read this book on my Kindle, no issues. It is available online for free at 37 Signals if you aren’t into dead trees.

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