- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: Harper Business (8 June 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0062273205
- ISBN-13: 978-0547265452
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.6 x 22.9 cm
- Customer Reviews: 162 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,656 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Hard Thing about Hard Thing: Building a Business When There are No Easy Answers Hardcover – 8 Jun 2014
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“More than any other business book released this year, “Hard Things” gives an insider’s perspective on what it’s like to lead and scale a startup.” (--Business Insider's Best Business Books of 2014)
“This is easily one of the essential books every business leader should read if they’re looking for proven and honest management advice.” (--Entrepreneur's 25 Amazing Business Books from 2014)
“The most valuable book on startup management hands down” (PandoDaily)
“There is more than enough substance in Mr. Horowitz’s impressive tome to turn it into a leadership classic.” (The Economist)
From the Back Cover
A 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 Valley's 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 don't 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 Internet's 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 it's OK to hire people from your friend's 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 Horowitz's 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.
About the Author
Ben Horowitz is the cofounder and general partner of Andreessen Horowitz, a Silicon Valley–based venture capital firm that invests in entrepreneurs building the next generation of leading technology companies. The firm's investments include Airbnb, GitHub, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Previously he was cofounder and CEO of Opsware, formerly Loudcloud, which was acquired by Hewlett-Packard for $1.6 billion in 2007. Horowitz writes about his experiences and insights from his career as a computer science student, software engineer, cofounder, CEO, and investor in a blog that is read by nearly ten million people. He has also been featured in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the New Yorker, Fortune, the Economist, and Bloomberg Businessweek, among others. Horowitz lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife, Felicia.
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162 customer reviews
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1. I recently met an ex-colleague, whose founded and runs a business now valued over a couple of billion dollars. He like the author said that we just kept on going through tough times. As Winston Churchill also said, when in hell keep going. And as the author says, if you play long enough, you may get lucky.
2. Focus on exploiting your strengths more than in ensuring that there are no weaknesses
3. Sometimes the things that you are not doing should be the things that you should be doing.
4. Looking at worlds from different prisms, helps separate facts from perception or shall we say fiction.
5. In war time, just play to survive, kill and win i.e., know what needs to be done and focus on getting it done. Alignment of all with the strategy and tactics is very important.
6. If you are a thinker, get people who can get things done. My father used to say that most executive often knew how to get things done, however if they also knew what to do, then they would be more effective.
7. In business if you need to find an answer, you got to find it irrespective of odds of finding it.
8. Importance of training your people and integrating them. As i was old over a quarter of a century ago in an interview, you need to train your staff from day one.
There are of course other lessons too, like when should you sell your company, how should organisation culture be deigned, how should a founder deal with simple things like title or avoid the organisation becoming political, etc. I am sure, depending on where you are and what your challenges are, you will have a different take.
A good book to read for entreprenuers, for people charting their own courses. I give it my highest recommendation.
Written by the well known Ben Horowitz (VC of FB, Airbnb, Pinterest, Twitter), this is Ben's narration as a HARDCORE entrepreneur.
What I LOVE about the book:
- There is no black or white in the world of startup entrepreneurship. It's always a shade of grey.
- The roller coaster ride of an entrepreneur & how SIMILAR it feels to all our journeys. This book is a GREAT leveller 🙂
- Profanity is a mindset. Ben narrates how he handles it (also mentioning its purpose)
- Co-Founder relationship management!
- The constant dread of shutting down / going bankrupt and how the single pointed agenda of SURVIVING pulled Ben and his Company through until stardom.
- When to use statistics and when to use calculus 🙂
- The incredible story of Go. (second time I read this)
- The CHALLENGES of 'getting big Co execs into small Cos"!
- NEVER 'overcompensating' employees
"There were plenty of companies in the '90s that had launch parties but not landing parties" 🙂
"Play long enough ... so that you might get lucky"
MUST READ (once a year)
I liked the writing style and you feel automatically connected. This book prepares you for the real business scenarios and gives you opportunity to think like a CEO. Also you connect emotionally as writer has very well explained the pain and struggle of a CEO.
The life of a CEO is all about struggle and struggle has no mercy.
Overall this is a good book and I would recommend to any one from the business / startup world.
Strongly recommend this to anyone under 30 years of age. Lot of learnings for other age groups as well but if you’re under 30 chances are this book can have a very lasting impact on your life.
Packaging was good.nice print and paper quality.