Want to Be Successful? Think Like a Drug Dealer

You have to love a book that says, “Most business books give you the same old advice: Write a business plan, study the competition, seek investors, yadda yadda. If you’re looking for a book like that, put this one on the shelf.”

These authors had me at yadda yadda.


REWORKby Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson is most definitely not like most business books.

Rework is written in a contemporary voice. It’s fun, visually pleasing, easy to read - But, and trust me on this – this ain’t no lightweight book.

This is an important book for businesspeople and for anyone hoping to succeed — in other words it’s for YOU.

With topic titles like …

  • Hire when it hurts
  • Pass on great people
  • Drug dealers get it right
  • Good enough is fine
  • Ignore the details early on
  • Mission statement impossible

The authors offer real logical ideas that are instantly applicable. They want you to “Rework” your way of thinking, rework your business plan, rework your life.

You can learn from their real-life experiences.

Fried and Heinemeier Hansson created and run 37signals – the supplier of the web applications Highrise, Basecamp and Backpack.

The two created the products from the needs of their own company and in doing so they created a company the way they wanted it to be – just big enough and yes, successful too.

Here are some examples from the book:

On Progress

Ignore the details early on

Architects don’t worry about which tiles go in the shower or which brand of dishwasher to install in the kitchen until after the floor plan is finalized. They know it’s better to decide these details later.

You need to approach your idea the same way. Details make the difference. But getting infatuated with details too early leads to disagreement, meetings, and delays. You get lost in things that don’t really matter.

On Evolution

Say no by default

It’s so easy to say yes. Yes to another feature, yes to an overly optimistic deadline, yes to a mediocre design. Soon, the stack of things you’ve said yes to grows so tall you can’t even see the things you should really be doing.

Start getting into the habit of saying no – even to many of your best ideas. Use the power of no to get your priorities straight. You rarely regret saying no. But you often wind up regretting saying yes.

As for those drug dealers, the authors write,

Drug dealers get it right

Drug dealers are astute businesspeople. They know their product is so good they're willing to give a little away for free upfront. They know you'll be back for more - with money.

Emulate drug dealers. Make your product so good, so addictive, so "can't miss" that giving customers a small, free taste makes them come back with cash in hand.

Seth Godin, author of ‘Tribes’and many other bestsellers simply says of 'Rework,' “Ignore this book at your own peril.”

I couldn’t have said it any better.

Email me at bullishonbooks@cnbc.comAnd follow me on Twitter @BullishonBooks