30 reviews between Jun 02, 2022 and Aug 20, 2023.
The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz is a valuable book filled with lessons and insights for CEOs and entrepreneurs. It provides practical guidance for navigating difficult situations in business, with a focus on running successful tech companies. The writing is clear and the book offers wisdom nuggets. Although some readers might find it wordy or not relatable to their specific experiences, it is still worth reading.The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers: Horowitz,
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30 reviews between Jun 02, 2022 and Aug 20, 2023.
I thought Ben Horowitz's experience and telling the story was interesting and entertaining. Along with some of the advice he gives me will be a good start to endeavor on the path to a CEO. A little too wordy, but very helpful.
As another reviewer much more succinctly put this than I could, this reads like a stream of consciousness. I am not better for reading this book. I only read the first two and a half chapters, 20% per kindle, and I cannot continue. There are no direct lessons to be learned, only minor and shallow reflections. This reads like a CEO who wanted to make a book but didn't put thought or effort into it, and is more a biography than something you can learn from.
There is something almost condescending in the writing that I can't explain. I think perhaps what stuck out the most was his random side note about how he used 200,000 of the company's money to pay for health care of Tamgrams
This is an excellent book written by someone with genuine humility and generosity.
Thank you for sharing your experiences. As a small business CEO, this is a must-read.
I heard so many great things about The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz when it was released. Naturally, I bought it, and it took me a bit to get to it on my To Be Read list. While I think the book is good and helpful, I am not the right person in the right place to take full advantage of the content.
The Hard Thing About Hard Things is a great book filled with hard truths about running a successful tech company. It’s narrow in focus but full of little wisdom nuggets. Never having been a tech company CEO nor working at a tech company in the early 2000s, I couldn’t relate to many of the anecdotes, but the lessons are there when you look for them.
The writing was quick and easy to understand. One thing I found myself noticing a lot in this book was how male-dominated everything felt. Again, it feels representative of the time, place, and industry, but today in 2021, some parts feel dated and moments when you say, “that wouldn’t fly today.” I could be wrong! There’s still bro culture in the tech world that has not diminished, but things are changing and improving. I appreciate the recaps at the end of the chapter, which distilled the anecdotes into takeaways and lessons.
3/5 - If you’re a male CEO (or aspiring CEO) in tech, you might get a lot from this book. The shortened recap might suffice for others.
Lessons Learned from The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz
Being a jerk never pays off
You will die. Are you happy with how you’re spending your days?
Confront yourself with a straightforward question: Which is more important: work or family? Act and plan accordingly.
This is written simply but effectively to get to the core of getting the fundamentals right is the Life Cycle as A Startup.
No sugar coat and insinuation , all in or all out !!
Definitely hard things about hard things. Extremely useful information.
Not just for CEO , but any leader and entrepreneur can benefit. Must read
I highly, highly recommend this book. Ben has experienced some amazing things and shares the criterial lessons he has learned along the way. The advice is diverse, but almost all of it is likely to be of critical importance to the CEO of a growing startup.
learned something new in a different perspective in thinking with this book
"The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers" by Ben Horowitz is a must-read for anyone facing challenging times in the business world, regardless of their role within the organization. While the book may appear to target CEOs specifically, its insights and lessons are applicable to individuals at all levels of a company.
Horowitz's candid and authentic storytelling takes readers through the ups and downs of running a business, offering valuable advice and strategies for navigating difficult situations. From managing layoffs to making tough decisions, the book provides practical guidance that can be implemented by leaders, managers, and employees alike.
What sets this book apart is its emphasis on the human side of business. Horowitz delves into the emotional toll that tough decisions and high-stakes situations can have on individuals, addressing the mental and psychological challenges that come with being a part of a struggling company.
"The Hard Thing About Hard Things" offers a refreshing perspective, reminding us that everyone has a role to play in overcoming adversity and contributing to the success of an organization. It encourages resilience, problem-solving, and a growth mindset, making it an invaluable resource for anyone facing difficult circumstances in their professional life.
Whether you're a CEO, manager, or team member, this book will equip you with the tools and mindset necessary to navigate through tough times and emerge stronger on the other side. It is an essential read for anyone seeking guidance and inspiration in the face of adversity within the business world.
This is different from many business books written from a consulting perspective because it is Ben’s story—his insights and lessons learned. It applies whether you’re a CEO or not and lead an organization, and provides a glimpse into how the CEO may be thinking.
This is a really solid business management book and it is worth reading. The author presents his points clearly and compellingly.
This book is valuable because it tells it all.
Most other books describe the process & success of its business. This book however, talk about various problems & obstacles & how he went about solving them including a lot of difficulty
If you're looking for some great business tips, I recommend this book
Great book. I know I have another 3-5 times rereading it. It's good to have the words in it fuel the journey up the mountain from business to life.
"The Hard Things about Hard Things" advises CEOs on their job. The author: Ben Horowitz of Netscape fame and founder of the Andreessen Horowitz venture capitalist firm. He has a long experience being a CEO and monitoring and advising different CEOs and that makes the book worth reading when you are in such a role.
The book consists roughly of two parts. The first three chapters contain the background of the author, then chapter four to nine contain more specific advise.
The first part, chapter one to three, tells the story of Ben Horowitz, joining Netscape, leaving Netscape and starting a cloud company (Loudcloud). Going through the dot com bubble and trying to keep his company afloat. Having to pivot the company to a completely new direction and eventually selling the company. Then after that starting his current venture capitalist firm. I enjoyed reading about the authors history and the struggles that he had to go through and it also gave a frame and some credibility to the rest of the book.
From chapter four to nine, the chapters start of with some story from the authors background and then focus on advise. Each chapter contains max 10 tips and each of these are describe in a couple of pages. For example, in chapter five, one of the tips is about "hiring executives". The tip is about 6 pages and provides a 3 step framework for hiring executives. It shares some of the criteria and pitfalls that the author has experienced. All chapters contain CEO advise like these... trying to focus on advise of the hard things that you will need to do as CEO.
I like "The Hard Thing about Hard Things." I enjoyed the autobiography of Ben Horowitz and appreciated him sharing the struggles that he had to go through with his companies. The advise that is given in this book is practical and not the usual kind of advise you find in management books. Of course, it is still the opinion of the author based on his experience, so blindly copying is probably not the best idea. That said, I think most people in a CEO or similar position will find valuable ideas in this book. Recommended for them. 4 stars.
The book is basically one man's story about how he built a high tech startup, sold it for over a billion dollars and management lessons he learned along the way. This is not a manual, reference or textbook. It's based on what Ben Horowits learned along the way and what he wanted to pass on to other entrepreneurs. It's most applicable to tech startups and the lessons are not grouped in a way that makes intuitive sense. There are 9 chapters in the Kindle version. The first two are mainly his story and the rest contains pieces of management advice. The advice is geared toward managing people rather than how to build a tech startup from scratch, though it's helpful for new entrepreneurs, regardless.
This book was not spectacular.
Too many rap song references, especially Kanye West... I mean "Ye". Wouldn't trust someone who models business ideas from "Ye". The guy doesn't even speak English well. For example, can't believe "They done stole your dreams, you dunno who did it" was quoted in this book.
Don't waste your time, grab a real business book.
Promotes workaholism as the ultimate virtue. Too many Kanye quotes.
Lots of good advice for aspiring founders and CEOs, hence the three stars. Easy to read.
Engaging, Relatable and gives experienced insight on how to take things to the next level. Well worth the reading time.
I liked the book overall. There are good lessons in here.
The reason I took a star is because of all the swearing in the book. Its hard to play this audiobook in the car because even by mistake i dont want one of those swear words playing out loud when they are in the car. case in point, as i started writing this i heard "blowing sunshine up their b**ts". And just before i decided to write this review, i heard "motherf****ng" something being said.. glad i'm listening to this on my headphones.
I was not aware nor would I think that a book would be resold as good condition that has several markings throughout. Underlines and handwritten notes. In the future I will pay a couple dollars more for a new book.
Ordered the hardcover, arrived in perfect condition. Flawless sleeve and crisp edges. Horowitz has a nice blend of anecdotes and advice. Each chapter is concise, usually only a few pages, well organized and easy to read. A great introduction for how to start and run a business, whether in Silicon Valley or elsewhere.
True story: This book was recommended to me by this insufferable guy I met at a party who couldn't stop bragging about himself to us. I guess the guy was in the software business, though not a coder himself, but he would go on and on about self-betterment, skydiving, etc. and there was not a single humble bone in his body. And of course when he scared the girl away with his nonsense, he thought the other people were coming on too strong. Why do I mention this? Because while reading this book, I could not help but read it in that guy's voice in my head!
I thought that surely there would be some universal advice in this book about dealing with impossible situations, but all that's here is about an overly confident privileged guy who was at the right place and right time to start his career and after his first job goes on to fall forward in the companies he started.
At first, I thought the history of Silicon Graphics was interesting but then he just drones on and on about the daily workings of these companies few people have ever heard of without any sort of redeeming quality. All he does is brag about ignoring advice that came to him and him essentially bullying his employees to work day and night for him and be away from their families. God forbid if those people had a sick or elderly person to care for.
Then he has the audacity to talk about a letter he saw one of those employees wrote about how that period was the greatest of his career. I'm sure for a young person it might have been but it seems like he has no ability to look inward to see that he might have hurt those people for his own benefit and profit.
So if you're looking to gain insight about how to deal with whatever is going on in your own life, I doubt this book will help. If you want read a book about a rich guy patting himself on the back like he's a mini-trump then get the book.
good. as much as you want.
I love the book and bought a bunch to keep at home so when people come over for dinner I give them one if they are business minded friends.
Horowitz gave you an incredibly honest advice on how to run a tech startup company and how to deal those thorny day-to-day management issues.
Thanks BH for this great work. I wish I'd read it long ago, but I was busy in the struggle.
This book is part memoir and part how to think about leadership and business growth in a start up environment. The leadership skills and traits discussed in this book will not apply nor appeal to all leaders or all companies, but there is value in understanding the author's thought process and lessons learned. Hard things are worth doing not because they are hard but because most people don't have the grit or persistence to do them, and therefore those who succeed stand out and have an edge over others. Horowitz went through that difficult process personally when so many other start-ups fail and he tells the story in this book.
What I most admire him for, though, is his role in the creation of a16z, a venture capital firm that started only in 2009 and has since become one of the titans in the VC world. At a16z. he has had to tackle hard things as an investor and leader of an asset management business, and I'm sure the hard things learned through his CEO days - the contents of this book - have helped the growth of his current firm as well.
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