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.See all Product description
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I would like to clarify that there is nothing "wrong" with the material in this book, or the author's viewpoints. In fact, I would recommend watching some of the videos of Ben Horowitz on Youtube. They are informative, enjoyable, and deal with the hard aspects of entrepreneurship. But I am not sure if this book did something positive for me. And I am not sure if it would help a first time entrepreneur who is at the beginning of the journey. But then, it just might. Your situation might benefit from some of the advice herein.
Ben does a great job of capturing the euphoria and terror of being a startup CEO, and the emotions that accompany the hard problems.
I found the sections on laying-off people, minimizing office politics, conducting one-on-ones, and framework for deciding to sell your company to be especially insightful and instructive.
If you are an entrepreneur or responsible for running a business, read this book now. You will feel much smarter after reading this book!
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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.
If you're getting started with entrepreneurship or you have a small startup, this might not be that useful, you might want to take this up at a later stage. Overall, not a bad read.
It's beauty lies in its simple, brutal, honesty, no bars held.
It also gives a very good idea how difficult and complicated setting up and running a good business is.
I first read it on kindle, then on the audiobook, and now have ordered the hard copy. Just for ready reference.
Reading this book has made me a huge fan of Ben Horowitz..
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