The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben HorowitzA lot of people talk about how great it is to start a business, but only Ben Horowitz is brutally honest about how hard it is to run one.
In The Hard Thing About Hard Things, Ben Horowitz, cofounder of Andreessen Horowitz and one of Silicon Valleys most respected and experienced entrepreneurs, draws on his own story of founding, running, selling, buying, managing, and investing in technology companies to offer essential advice and practical wisdom for navigating the toughest problems business schools dont cover. His blog has garnered a devoted following of millions of readers who have come to rely on him to help them run their businesses. A lifelong rap fan, Horowitz amplifies business lessons with lyrics from his favorite songs and tells it straight about everything from firing friends to poaching competitors, from cultivating and sustaining a CEO mentality to knowing the right time to cash in.
His advice is grounded in anecdotes from his own hard-earned rise—from cofounding the early cloud service provider Loudcloud to building the phenomenally successful Andreessen Horowitz venture capital firm, both with fellow tech superstar Marc Andreessen (inventor of Mosaic, the Internets first popular Web browser). This is no polished victory lap; he analyzes issues with no easy answers through his trials, including
demoting (or firing) a loyal friend;
whether you should incorporate titles and promotions, and how to handle them;
if its OK to hire people from your friends company;
how to manage your own psychology, while the whole company is relying on you;
what to do when smart people are bad employees;
why Andreessen Horowitz prefers founder CEOs, and how to become one;
whether you should sell your company, and how to do it.
Filled with Horowitzs trademark humor and straight talk, and drawing from his personal and often humbling experiences, The Hard Thing About Hard Things is invaluable for veteran entrepreneurs as well as those aspiring to their own new ventures.
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Ben Horowitz has vast experience as a businessman. He has gone through many humbling experiences, high and low, those of which might help other businessmen to learn from. His story of founding, running and managing businesses, investing in resources and technology is something that one can learn from that are not taught or detailed in any business schools formal education. He addresses a lot of challenges that one might go through and what are the best possible ways to tackle them. Certified Buyer , Bangalore.
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Cancel anytime. The next Bill Gates will not build an operating system. And the next Mark Zuckerberg won't create a social network. If you are copying these guys, you aren't learning from them. It's easier to copy a model than to make something new: doing what we already know how to do takes the world from 1 to n, adding more of something familiar. But every time we create something new, we go from 0 to 1.
Fear can be good.
The problem with most business books is they present a formula for problems that ultimately have no formula. The hard thing is laying people off when you miss the big goal. The hard thing is getting people to communicate within the organization that you just designed. The hard thing is waking up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat when the dream turns into a nightmare. Ben, however, provides insight into what to do after you screw up. Advice and experience can help guide us. Horowitz walks you through his considerations, deliberations, thoughts, mistakes, regrets, difficulties.
Imagine your business is down to its last stretch of runway and your investors refuse to put more cash into it. You are half-certain that the company will go completely bankrupt during the actual roadshow, making the entire process superfluous. And then it does. Your wife has had an allergic reaction to her medicine and stopped breathing. Everything that matters to you is slipping away.