7.5 Rules for Working Together

Honm Friebe is an economist and journalist and one of the managing directors of Zentralen Intelligenz Agentur in Berlin.

Holm Friebe’s book, Wir nennen es Arbeit (”We call it work”) is a bestseller in Germany, describing how to work creatively and with integrity in “the hedonistic company.”

Seven or So Rules for Collaborating Professionally and Still Staying Friends

Rule 1, The 7 Nos – No office. No employees. No fixed costs. No pitches. No exclusivity (company doesn’t own your life). No working hours (results only). No bullshit.

Rule 2: Work-Work Balance – balance projects for clients with your passion projects, given equal priority and attention.

Rule 3: Instant Gratification – profit immediately with work; no salaries, billable time/project, always keep 10% of profit for the company for play money; pay bills immediately as well

Rule 4: Pluralism of Methods – tech solutions for social problems, use online tools for collaboration; Skype, Google calendar, Google Docs

Rule 5: Fixed Ideas – live up to your intellectual obsessions and dark desires at work; take them seriously; don’t be afraid to offend people;

Rule 6: Responsibilities Without Hierarchies – each project as to have one person incharge, but it can be anybody; beginning of year retreat in the country; rethink the business model; sift through projects and leaders take them on;

Rule 7: The Power of Procrastination – don’t try to be too efficient; good deas will adapt and catch on, even if you neglect them for a while; they have to ripen; there is a natural Darwinism of ideas

Rule 7.5: Marketing by Feuilleton – no adverstising, no PR; do something interesting and press coverage will be yours; they get coverage in the culture section

Conclusion – A Hedonistic Company not only changes the nature of work, it shifts the domain of that work.