The Hard Thing About Hard Things
Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers
Ben Horowitz, cofounder of Andreessen Horowitz and one of Silicon Valley's most respected and experienced entrepreneurs, offers essential advice on building and running a startup—practical wisdom for managing the toughest problems business school doesn’t cover, based on his popular ben’s blog.
While many people talk about how great it is to start a business, very few are honest about how difficult it is to run one. Ben Horowitz analyzes the problems that confront leaders every day, sharing the insights he’s gained developing, managing, selling, buying, investing in, and supervising technology companies. A lifelong rap fanatic, he amplifies business lessons with lyrics from his favorite songs, telling it straight about everything from firing friends to poaching competitors, cultivating and sustaining a CEO mentality to knowing the right time to cash in.
Filled with his trademark humor and straight talk, The Hard Thing About Hard Things is invaluable for veteran entrepreneurs as well as those aspiring to their own new ventures, drawing from Horowitz's personal and often humbling experiences.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
If starting a company were easy, everyone would do it. Venture capitalist Ben Horowitz, who made a small fortune when his business was sold to Hewlett-Packard, provides a warts-and-all look at navigating the start-up jungle. Horowitz’s brutal honesty is what makes The Hard Thing About Hard Things effective. He doesn’t pull punches about the struggles of building companies from the ground up, like having to fire loyal-but-underperforming employees or poaching staff from friendly competitors. Even if you’re not planning a start-up of your own, these plainspoken—and sometimes hilarious—tips are practical workplace advice for everyone.
Horowitz, a tech entrepreneur turned venture capitalist, offers hard-earned business advice and a compendium of the best posts from his popular blog (ben's blog). For the budding tech mogul, this is heady stuff, and politic to heed, as his firm, Andreesen Horowitz, is a nearly $3 billion powerhouse that has invested in winners, including Skype, Facebook, Groupon, Twitter, and Zynga. But shrewd investing decisions don't make for riveting prose, as Horowitz repeatedly trots out war and military metaphors to describe the struggle to sustain past businesses. Horowitz is far sharper when he's blunt and candid. Admitting that as a CEO he was always scared is far more useful to the aspiring mogul than heading many chapters with hip-hop lyrics describing street corner struggles. Though passages about minimizing office politics and how a startup executive might grow into managing a larger business contain novel insights, most of the useful observations come from citing other titans, including Intel CEO Andy Grove, Intuit head Bill Campbell, and management guru Tony Robbins. This manual reads as a collection of war stories from the 1990s boom-and-bust era blended with platitudes from an older generation of established business leaders.
The best read For women building business in developing nations
As a woman leading a IT business in a developing nation, this is one of the most relatable, informative and guiding books I’ve read to date.
Written in simple and forthright language, it captures Ben’s reality and maps it again ask your own, and how his wisdom can you enlightenment and courage.
It truly is for people and women like me, who face incredible difficulties in building businesses that will live beyond our tenure.
Best book on entrepreneurship of read to date
I feel like I finished an MBA in management science after reading this book. Ben’s real-world experience give credence to every single piece of advice he gives in the book. He walks the walk and talks the talk. Wow I might have to read this book 2 or 3 more times to absorb the chalk full of nuggets and good humor all over again.
Has achieved so much, but is tone deaf
There are definitely some small nuggets of start tech start wisdom sprinkled throughout this book. But the fact that it was printed with so many rap artists lyrics including a word this white man (should not) dare say in conversation, type in the email, Tweet, etc. Basic 101. Additionally, there are just so many tone deaf statements that made me just want to put the book down. For example, he described someone as acting schizophrenic. It's 2022. Fix this before you print. And do your homework. This is not the same level as cursing at work.