As I mentioned in my last column in rAVe’s Rental and Staging e-newsletter, I read a lot of business books but totally embrace the ideas in very few of them. Most of the time, I am very pleased to get just one or two ideas from each one that I can apply to my own business.
Up until now, I have had just two that I considered “must reads” whose ideas were so universally useful to me that I keep them on my desk. The first was “In Search of Excellence,” the Tom Peters classic. The second was “Crossing the Chasm,” with which both Gary and I have bombarded all of you for the last decade (thanks, BTW).
I’m now adding a third book to that stack of vital volumes.
Well, OK, I’m not actually adding to the physical stack, because this one is an e-book this time. But this one is just as vital, extremely timely, well-written, brief and to the point. And if you are in the AV business, and particularly if you are in the Unified Communications market, you owe it to yourself to read this one. Now.
The book is “Remote” by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson.
Now, let me set up this review by first telling you that these gentlemen are the founders of a very successful internet ASP (Application Service Provider) called 37Signals. Their premier product is an online project management system called Basecamp, which my company uses and practically runs on. They are also the authors of another great business book called “Rework,” which is a practical guide to running a fast-moving entrepreneurial business.
“Remote”, their latest work, is a guide to implementing remote work, distance communications, and collaboration among workers in disparate locations. If you are a remote worker, a freelance specialist, or are interested in becoming either, this book is a necessary read, as it lays out the best methods and tips for making those efforts a success, by the founders of a company whose own success is based on those ideas.
However, in doing so they have also produced an excellent book for those of us whose business is in helping other people and organizations collaborate. If you are involved in videoconferencing or collaboration technologies, this book will provide a thought-provoking education on the benefits and paybacks of implementing such technologies, as well as answers to the arguments that naysayers use to keep from doing so. Along the way, you will pick up valuable tips that you can pass along to clients on how to implement them successfully. In fact, I gave copies to some key clients for the holidays because I thought it really applied to their situation.
“Remote” is an easy read — and a book that those of us in the industry would do well to keep at hand. It’s available through the iTunes bookstore, or at http://www.37signals.com, and I highly recommend it.