This book is dear to me for a variety of reasons, not the least of which that it is perhaps the easiest way to identify someone’s “school of thought” with respect to business. I read this book years ago, but as I find it increasingly more relevant, and with my efforts to catalog what I read, I thought doing a retro-post on the book worthwhile.
In one of my previous lives, I offered this book as a guideline to our recruiting and staffing plans for a startup that was in the late-early stages of being funded, and the rest of the executive team was immediately defensive of the approach of David Heinemeier Hansson and Jason Fried. Not surprising, he heralded from an era of business with secretaries and executive assistants, both of which were part of his plan; also the plan we eventually adopted, unfortunately.
Regardless, the quips and anecdotes found within this book should be taken seriously, because they are serious. That startup no longer exists, and recruiting top talent is incredibly difficult if you limit your talent pool to a very specific geographic region. We witnessed it first hand, and we swallowed the consequences as a result.
In the end, I agree with the authors; unless you operate your business in a talent hotbed like Silicon Valley or Seattle, operating a technology business without supporting remote staff is a suicide mission.
If you want to organically grow your business, reduce your turnover, increase the quality of your talent pool, reduce your recruitment costs, and be a diverse organization, read this book, or watch this video.