Edit: No offense to fans of 37signals (I read svn). This guy is about to get a lesson in how many fans of 37signals there are.
The review was wonderfully British -- "What is it about Americans that they think 10 years is a long time?" -- which probably is the main reason behind the criticism. Real business people according to the author are probably those with a degree from LSE.
What is it about the British that make them assume short term thinking is coming from an American? One of the two authors are Danish, not American. Does working in America for four years make you an American these days?
"Fire workaholics", "Meetings are toxic", etc etc it's just linkbait hyperbole.
I think this review managed to accurately sum up what 37signals puts out.
"Fire workaholics" was a blog post.
The review was defensive, because 37signals prove that many typical management techniques are not necessary for success. This is a status risk for the review author, who derives his livelihood from telling people about another right way to do things, and told me more about him than about the book.
Meetings Are Toxic
Don't have meetings
For those times when you absolutely must have a meeting
(this should be a rare event), stick to these simple rules:
Are all the startups here having meetings every day without any vague sort of agenda? Would they blindly keep having meetings if they proved to be unproductive? no.
It's great that 37signals have worked this out, but I don't think there's many people who don't know it/can't figure it out for themselves.
The thing is that in many places it's not obvious. There are a lot of people who spent many years in companies where this wasn't a common practice and they just don't know any better. It's not that these people aren't smart, they've just never seen anything different. Having a 1 hour meeting with a dozen people to solve the most simple problems is just "how things are done".
Let me make a quick analogy.
To a lot of people here, the idea that XP, SCRUM, and other agile development methodologies are a much better way of developing software is "obvious". To many, many people in larger companies it's definitely not obvious. They have decades of experience doing things using waterfall, and most of them have never worked at a place that did anything else. It's just "how things are done".
If you think all of these things are obvious, then this book is likely not for you. For lots of people, this book contains ideas that are very different from what they're accustomed to. That's who will get the most out of this book (or other books of its kind).
And the advice is just ridiculously obvious to anyone with
a brain. "Never have a meeting without a clear agenda."
...Which you can assess by virtue of not having read it. Well done!