- Audio CD: 1 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins; Unabridged edition (4 March 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1483002896
- ISBN-13: 978-1483002897
- Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 1.9 x 15.2 cm
- Customer Reviews:
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #10,52,541 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Hard Thing about Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
Audio CD, Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
|Audio CD, Audiobook, CD, Unabridged||
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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.
Kevin Kenerly, an AudioFile Earphones Award-winning narrator, earned a BA degree at Olivet College. A longtime member of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, he has acted in fifteen seasons, playing dozens of roles.
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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.
Top international reviews
1 - Almost all the advice provided here is for C-Suite, or perhaps exclusively CEO. Corporate boardroom, shareholders, directors bonuses, right person for the right job... I found it fascinating to read about things like the personality qualities the author looks for or assumes in a CEO fit, but I feel for a lot of people this information will simply not be applicable to their day to day. Certainly there wasn't much I could draw into my day to day.
2- The books referred to throughout by the author, by the likes of Andy Grove and Peter Thiel, are in my opinion far more useful - more game-changing insights
Maybe it's just because I'm not a C-suite director or a business founder that I can't appreciate the value of the advice... certainly I appreciate the honesty of the author and their willingness to call out what they see as corporate BS, but I found myself putting it down at 50%, 70%, 80%, picking up later, forging on, and still not feeling I was getting much from the read.
So perhaps it has some redeeming features, but I'm quite happy not knowing what they are.
The book seems to be a self-congratulatory lap of honour in which the author demonstrates that he is the most non-racist, inclusivistic, non-judgmental person who has ever lived. He bludgeons us through the taxonomies of his various sets of friends, almost all of whom have some claim or other to minorityship which he just *has* to mention, whilst systematically pick-axing his prose to death with the Cultural Marxist "she" when what he means is "he" (or – if you must – "they"). It's just irritating.
I have never met this man. But I have met enough people like him to know that I don't want to hear any more of what he has to say about himself.
I'm happy for him that he manages to fire his friends *and* sleep well at night. I'm happy for him that he loves himself so much he just had to write an entire book about what a fabulous fellow he is. The problem is that I simply don't feel that anyone who is as eager as he is to cram his credentials of conventionality down my throat by endorsing every single point of what happens to be Politically Correct this week can genuinely have any balls.
Ergo, he isn't a leader.
Ergo, this isn't what it claims to be: a book about leadership.
The first half of the book mainly covers Horowitz's back story and it takes a while for anything of real value to be mentioned. By the halfway mark though the book offers plenty of bookmark-worthy snippets of advice which should be relevant to anyone who is looking to develop a career in leadership.
It's very likely I will be referring to this book again in the future.
Q: How many Vietnam (or your era’s conflict of attrition) vets does it take to change a lightbulb ?
A: YOU DON'T KNOW! YOU WEREN'T THERE, MAN!! YOU'LL NEVER KNOW!!!
The engaging back story provides rich context and the apparently honest analysis has helped me better understand some of the bizarre leadership behaviours I have observed, and my own mistakes.
”there’s no recipe for motivating teams when your business has turned to crap.”
This book should help you empathise with and support a leader, or better manage your own issues. Whilst the focus is on start-up to scale-up, much of it is relevant to corporate environments.
Hi Sam - I have been meaning to tell you but we have not 'bumped' into each other recently. Thank you for your book recommendation of 'The Hard Thing about the Hard Things'.
Ben Horowitz managed to navigate and articulate what can be a very complicated world so well and a lot of what he said resonated with me.
One of many highlights was:
"In the technology business, you rarely know everything up front. The difference between being mediocre and magical is often the difference between letting people take creative risk and holding them too tightly accountable. Accountability is important, but it’s not the only thing that’s important."
So, thank you!
This personal account, describing a succession of challenges, failures, the lessons learned, and the application of those lessons to drive eventual wild success is both engaging and substantive.
A very odd business book - a can’t-put-it-down page-turner.
For content, I personally 100% love the first part about his entrepreneurial history and the challenges he has experienced as CEO of his various companies.
Then the second part, although full of common sense and very interesting, less touch me because it is addressed to the managers or CEO of large companies. Being a small business director, these chapters were less interesting.
But for a manager or CEO of a startup or larger company, this book will be useful to every page.
Particularly comforting to hear that I'm not the only one who has struggled to make tough choices in business!
A great read for those interested in tech, business and venture capital.