For a year I spoke across the country, at various WordCamps, talking about the need to put on a shirt. My focus was on virtual teams.
I introduced my concept of #donedone while sharing with developers and designers, and those who manage them, how to work best in a distributed environment.
But you know what I never did? I never wrote a best-selling book and stuck a pair of underwear on the cover. Genius! And clearly, that was my mistake. That, and of course, I can't tell stories nearly as well as Scott Berkun can.
If you don't know Scott, he wrote on another favorite topic of mine: execution. His book, Making Things Happen, is required reading for my distributed teams – and they all received it a few years ago as their Christmas gift.
So given that he's written about things I love – you can imagine that when his most recent book came out (I pre-ordered mine), I was on it. In fact, I've read it twice in two days. And here, in a quick summary, is why I loved it.
Even if you didn't know who Scott was (which I did), or what WordPress is (which I do), this book would still be a must read.
First and foremost, it's an entertaining read that draws you in and keeps you hooked. If it takes you more than two or three sittings, I'll be impressed.
Second, regardless of whether you're wearing pants or not, it's a fantastic look into how a distributed culture is created. That's worth the price of the book alone.
Lastly, every chapter has a key, important observation about work, life, and culture. It's worth a second read just to capture those – because they're so easily skipped as you read an entertaining story. But they're there.
Like I said, a must read.
I left that review just now over at Amazon, where you can get your own copy: The Year Without Pants: WordPress.com and the Future of Work
Do me a favor – go pick up a copy. It's a better read than I could write and yet I'd want you to know everything that's in there. I'd tell you what to look for but in two readings I found different things interesting.
The one thing I will say, which won't spoil anything, is that I realized, in reading it the second time, how valuable it was for Scott to keep a journal. It allowed him to tell a fantastic story with tons of details (not just facts but fears and worries) that I don't think would have been possible without a journal.
So keep a journal – even if you're not wearing pants.
And check out the book, come back, and tell me how you liked it.