It Doesn't Have to Be Crazy at Work

Reviewed on , book by Jason Fried

The premise of the book is wonderful: we chase growth at all cost and the human cost of that is real.

However, I can’t shake some feeling of arrogance that permeates the book. Points are mostly anecdotal and all the examples of practised ‘calm’ are from their own company or individuals who work outside of an organization (the reference section is suspiciously thin). Come on, it’s not so radical to not work yourself to death that no-one else in the world practises it. The authors are in a privileged position with a subscription model and no externally imposed deadlines. That’s the exception and it’s not acknowledged. There are great, actionable insights in the book—but the style is offputting. “Slack” is an example of a book on the same topic that is much better written. The book reads like a great history of building a company under quality-of-life first principles. However, the book is an attempt to attack a wider scope without greater support. It could’ve been more honest with itself.

All that said, this is a book that needs to exist and will likely have a larger impact on the sometimes toxic tech work culture than most existing material outside—so I applaud the effort into an approachable read on the subject!