The one-sentence summary

Ignore what normal companies do and do the opposite.


Most of what you are told about building, running and growing a business is nonsense. You can change the way you work forever by ignoring most conventions from normal companies

The book doesn’t really have chapters. Instead it has ultra-short sections with pithy pieces of advice, and there are lots of them, including:

  • Ignore the real world – people who say something won’t work are often wrong
  • Learn from your successes, not your failures
  • Planning is guessing – have a go and get on with it
  • Why grow? Being a large business may be pointless and counterproductive
  • Workaholism is for fools – you don’t have to be that busy to succeed
  • Enough with ‘entrepreneurs’ – let’s just call them starters
  • Make a dent in the universe – try to change something
  • Scratch your own itch – do something you want to do
  • Start making something – no time is no excuse
  • Outside money is plan Z – don’t borrow if you don’t have to
  • Embrace constraints – they make your work more specific
  • Throw less at the problem – do less, better
  • Sell your by-products – the stuff you reject on the way may have value too
  • Meetings are toxic – have as few as possible
  • Good enough is fine – get something underway and fix it as you go
  • Long lists don’t get done – make tiny decisions and see the progress
  • Don’t confuse enthusiasm with priority


  • The gems keep coming: ASAP is poison, underdo the competition, inspiration is perishable – fight bloat and fire the workaholics
  • You could dip into this book anywhere and grab a motivating thought on anything from launching to hiring, productivity to promotion


Nothing. It’s great.