Cover image for The hard thing about hard things : building a business when there are no easy answers
The hard thing about hard things : building a business when there are no easy answers
Horowitz, Ben, 1966- , author.
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Harper Business, [2014]

Physical Description:
x, 289 pages ; 24 cm
Ben Horowitz, co-founder 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.
1. From Communist to venture capitalist -- 2. "I will survive" -- 3. This time with feeling -- 4. When things fall apart : The struggle ; CEOs should tell it like it is ; The right way to lay people off ; Preparing to fire an executive ; Demoting a loyal friend ; Lies that losers tell ; Lead bullets ; Nobody cares -- 5. Take care of the people, the products, and the profits--in that order : A good place to work ; Why startups should train their people ; Is it okay to hire people from your friend's company? ; Why it's hard to bring big company execs into little companies ; Hiring executives: if you've never done the job, how do you hire somebody good? ; When employees misinterpret managers ; Management debt ; Management quality assurance -- 6. Concerning the going concern : How to minimize politics in your company ; The right kind of ambition ; Titles and promotions ; When smart people are bad employees ; Old people ; One-on-one ; Programming your culture ; Taking the mystery out of scaling a company ; The scale anticipation fallacy -- 7. How to lead even when you don't know where you are going : The most difficult CEO skill ; The fine line between fear and courage ; Ones and twos ; Follow the leader ; Peacetime CEO/wartime CEO ; Making yourself a CEO ; How to evaluate CEOs -- 8. First rule of entrepreneurship: there are no rules : Solving the accountability vs. creativity paradox ; The freaky Friday management technique ; Staying great ; Should you sell your company? -- 9. The end of the beginning -- Appendix: Questions for head of Enterprise sales force.
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HD62.5 .H6479 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
HD62.5 .H6479 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
HD62.5 .H6479 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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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.

Author Notes

Ben Horowitz is the cofounder and general partner of Andreessen Horowitz, a venture capital firm that invests in entrepreneurs building the next generation of leading technology companies. Previously he was cofounder and CEO of Opsware, formerly Loudcloud, which was acquired by Hewlett-Packard in 2007. He writes about his experiences and insights from his career as a computer science student, software engineer, cofounder, CEO, and investor in a blog. His first book, The Hard Thing about Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers, was published in 2014.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

*Starred Review* It's fairly evident that this is a collection of blogs, loosely strung together, united in their varied perspectives on start-ups, CEO-dom, and business in general. Though Horowitz is a cofounder of Andreessen Horowitz and his credentials reside mainly in Silicon Valley, he's imparted some valuable insight on hard lessons learned that apply to any manager, whether in the executive suite or not. As with most experiential books, it is all about him but it's written in such an engaging and universally acceptable manner that no one could object. Leave aside his background, for the moment. Who would realize, for instance, that executives worry about things like initiating layoffs, hiring the right people, training, and minimizing politics, among others? It's a refreshingly honest take, and his colorful (and, yes, profanity-laced) language breaks down any other misperceptions about the role and the person. Plus, his imagination is compelling, such as the comparisons between peacetime and wartime CEOs: Peacetime CEO always has a contingency plan. Wartime CEO knows that sometimes you gotta roll a hard six. After all, the success equation is easy: the hard thing is getting it done.--Jacobs, Barbara Copyright 2014 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

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. Agent: Sandra Dijkstra, Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. ix
Chapter 1 From Communist to Venture Capitalistp. 1
Chapter 2 "I Will Survive"p. 17
Chapter 3 This Time with Feelingp. 39
Chapter 4 When Things Fall Apartp. 57
The Strugglep. 60
CEOs Should Tell It Like It Isp. 64
The Right Way to Lay People Offp. 68
Preparing to Fire an Executivep. 73
Demoting a Loyal Friendp. 81
Lies That Losers Tellp. 85
Lead Bulletsp. 88
Nobody Caresp. 91
Chapter 5 Take Care of the People, the Products, and the Profits-In that Orderp. 93
A Good Place to Workp. 99
Why Startups Should Train Their Peoplep. 105
Is It Okay to Hire People from Your Friend's Company?p. 114
Why It's. Hard to Bring Big Company Execs into Little Companiesp. 119
Hiring Executives: If You've Never Done the Job, How Do You Hire Somebody Good?p. 124
When Employees Misinterpret Managersp. 130
Management Debtp. 134
Management Quality Assurancep. 139
Chapter 6 Concerning the Going Concernp. 143
How to Minimize Politics in Your Companyp. 147
The Right Kind of Ambitionp. 155
Titles and Promotionsp. 159
When Smart People Are Bad Employeesp. 165
Old Peoplep. 170
One-on-Onep. 176
Programming Your Culturep. 179
Taking the Mystery Out of Scaling a Companyp. 185
The Scale Anticipation Fallacyp. 193
Chapter 7 How to Lead Even When You Don't Know Where You are Goingp. 197
The Most Difficult CEO Skillp. 201
The Fine Line Between Fear and Couragep. 209
Ones and Twosp. 214
Follow the Leaderp. 219
Peacetime CEO/Wartime CEOp. 224
Making Yourself a CEOp. 229
How to Evaluate CEOsp. 235
Chapter 8 First Rule of Entrepreneurship: There are No Rulesp. 243
Solving the Accountability vs. Creativity Paradoxp. 248
The Freaky Friday Management Techniquep. 252
Staying Greatp. 254
Should You Sell Your Company?p. 257
Chapter 9 The End of the Beginningp. 265
Appendix: Questions for Head of Enterprise Sales Forcep. 277
Acknowledgmentsp. 283
Creditsp. 287