The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz

The Hard Thing About Hard Things

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 ...

Details The Hard Thing About Hard Things

TitleThe Hard Thing About Hard Things
Release DateMar 4th, 2014
GenreBusiness, Entrepreneurship, Nonfiction, Management, Leadership

Reviews The Hard Thing About Hard Things

  • Arjun Narayan
    Executive Summary: This is a book about Ben Horowitz's war stories. Ben Horowitz has good war stories, if you care about the narrow space of Venture Backed fast growth technology startups. I'm not so sure that they generalize to the point of making a good management guide. You might be better off reading some Drucker.First: the absolute preliminaries: Ben Horowitz co-founded LoudCloud with Marc Andreessen in 1999, with a plan to do enterprise man...
  • Brad Feld
    This is one of the best books you’ll ever read on entrepreneurship and being a CEO.If you are a CEO, read this book.If you aspire to be a CEO read this book.If you are on a management team and want to understand what a CEO goes through, read this book.If you are interested in entrepreneurship and want to understand it better, read this book.On Friday, I spent the entire day with about 50 of the CEOs of companies we are investors in. Rand Fishki...
  • Otis Chandler
    I haven’t read many (any?) books that are written by CEO’s for CEO’s. If you are a CEO, aspire to be a CEO, or really, manage anyone - you need to read this book. This quote is perhaps my favorite one from the book. At the top, nobody is there to tell you what to do. It’s easy to look at some leaders and wonder how they knew what to do to become so successful. Are they just really smart? The truth is that they likely did what everyone els...
  • Chris Johnson
    This is the very best business book I have ever read.I would estimate that I've read roughly 1,000. I've loved maybe 100. This one is in it's own category, a book that both documents the times about 12-15 years ago and paints a picture of what we can do today.I cannot recommend it highly enough, and I cannot say more strongly: read it. If you know me - email me at my personal address and I'll buy it for you. There are a few things that happen to ...
  • Eric Lin
    If you got advice from someone you found really annoying - even if it was good advice from an interesting perspective - would you be able to get over how annoying the person talking your ear off is?That's basically where I am with this book. I think his advice is really interesting, and it's clear that a lot of the lessons he's learned throughout the course of his career were earned with blood and sweat, but ultimately, I'm not sure I can get pas...
  • Patrick Brown
    It's hard for me give this a rating, as I haven't really read many other how-to business books. I liked the narrative section at the beginning of the book a bit better than the tactical advice section, but I think that's probably just how I prefer to get information. There are some great lessons in here for non-CEOs, but I suspect it's even more valuable for those who have founded and/or run a company. I think most relevant and/or interesting to ...
  • Lena
    Ben Horowitz joined Netscape in the very early days and proceeded to ride the internet wave all the way up, all the way down, and everywhere in between over the course of his career. In this memoir/business advice book, he recounts choice moments from his extensive career and shares information he found important along the way.In a world filled with Rah-Rah You Can Do It! business books, I found the tone of this book incredibly refreshing. The op...
  • Angie Boyter
    This is not a book that I think many general readers would enjoy. The first part is about the author's experiences building and running various tech companies and is fairly interesting. Most of it, though, is a huge compendium of short bits of management advice that gets very tedious. It might be of interest if I were looking for a how-to book, but, even so, it seems to be based pretty heavily on the author's own experience, i.e., "I did this. I ...
  • Josh Steimle
    I rarely read the same book twice, but I'm going to do just that with this book. In fact, I'm considering reading it once a month for the next year until everything in it is ingrained in my consciousness. Why? Because this book has the lessons I need in my business, right now. I'm in the midst of hiring my core team that is going to help us grow. I've gone through, and continue to go through, many of the challenges faced by Horowitz, albeit with ...
  • Ethan
    Superb and unique book for its target reader - the founding CEO of a software company. Real, practical guidance that no one else has covered in a business book.Becomes rapidly less applicable the farther the reader is from the target. A few useful nuggets for non-founding CEOs, executives of non-software firms, and non-CEO founders, but this is by no means a generalist book on entrepreneurship or "business".Largely collected from Horowitz' blog, ...
  • Summer
    I can't take insights from someone who has so little insight about himself. Cases in point: As a white boy, you do not have to call yourself the "Jackie Robinson of barbecue". You can just say you are good at barbecuing. Or say nothing, really because it's irrelevant. That fact that your grandfather once WENT to a black neighborhood is not a story. Seriously you should not tell people that, because IT'S NOT A STORY. The fact that you bullied your...
  • Bülent Duagi
    It's a must read if you're into management + tech.The hard thing about hard things is that nobody and nothing really prepares you for them.
  • Anshu
    Horowitz is the most prominent VC firm in the valley. This book depicts great stories about the struggle from Horowitz. Initial few chapters are good and the reader gets more curious especially how his business was transformed from selling cloud solutions to pure software based. How they pivot on initial phase. However, after 2-3 chapters, I got lost since this book turned into management/leadership lessons. That's the point I got lost. I was hop...
  • Mateusz Kurleto
    This book was a game changer for me. I started reading it in the middle of my biggest struggle as a founder and CEO of Neoteric (#32 on Deloitte Technology Fast 50 CE). It was recommended by my co-founder, Mateusz Paprocki.Ben shares tough stories here. He says what he fucked up and how did he manage to make it up. It helped me to trust my instincts and bet my decisions during company transformation on the values I live by. It's only 1 month sinc...
  • Louis
    Some interesting insights, but nothing life-changing. I often felt like he was trying too hard to draw generalizations based on his experience at one particular company (Loudcloud/Opsware). And it's bizarre that he introduces each chapter with rap lyrics, often without any obvious connection to the chapter's topic.
  • Eugene
    great lessons about running startups, hiring people, managing people, being ceo in good and bad times. I liked the direct style of the writing with almost zero self advertisements.
  • Athan Tolis
    This very personal book is a detailed manual on how to be the CEO of a technology company with 300 employees. It is unashamedly based on the author’s experiences and it’s “straight from the heart,” as they say.I once owned and ran a tech startup that never got to more than 35, so I’m poorly qualified to comment on the quality of most of the advice. • I never had to demote a loyal friend. I tried to give my loyal friend Tassos fewer sh...
  • Sergei_kalinin
    Если характеризовать книгу двумя словами: "учебник прикладного менеджмента". Два важных уточнения: 1) именно "прикладного", а не теоретического; 2) по сути это такая "настольная книга CEO", включающая в себя рекомендации и по оперативному, и по стратег...
  • Ahmad Moshrif
    Briefly, this is the best business book that I've read in 2014 so far. Thinkg seriously to read it again.باختصار ... أفضل كتاب قرأته هذا العام في عالم المال والأعمال.عنذما يتكلم بين هوروتيز، بالتأكيد يجب على كل قيادي وشاب أعمال أن يسمع ماذا سيقول.نقلاته الناجحة (بشكل مفجع) في عالم الأعمال تستحق ا...
  • Zora
    6 stars. Even 10 stars. This is the best business book I've ever read. Hands down. Just like building a company, its gritty. It's a book about the hard things. I think part of the reason I loved this book so much is because it struck an emotional cord. I've been through those sleepless nights, lived through months of those pit in the gut, sick, 'I think I might vomit' feelings. During certain chapters I got chills. For a moment, the hair on my ba...
  • Ostap Andrusiv
    Мені подобається, як ця книжка починається. Відразу ріже по живому:- не складно придумати ГУЧНУ ціль, складно звільняти людей, якщо її не досяг- … складно, якщо люди починають вимагати неможливого- … складно заставити людей комунікувати у щойно с...
  • Robert
    Horowitz has assembled a great collection of hard fought knowledge for future founding CEOs. I took away a lot from this book, despite neither being a CEO nor planning to be one. Anyone who intends to take a leadership role in a company, especially in high tech, should read it. The advice on hiring and firing is clear, succinct and valuable. I also got a lot of great insights on what to look for in product managers. While not entirely discouragin...
  • Ashley
    This was possibly the most useful management book I have ever read. Ben's personal stories along with key lessons and advice on how to handle those difficult decisions was amazing.I'm not sure it would be of value to anyone who's not a founder CEO. However I think it's a must read for all founder CEOs who are in the process of building a big company, or trying to. I should also throw in that's its a bit scary. Sometimes while in the grind you hol...
  • Jon Fish
    Most business books talk in the abstract: "empower your employees", "give good and frequent feedback", "don't sweat the small stuff". This is all well and good, but, as Ben Horowitz correctly points out, is more about the "What" than the "How". The hard part of building an A+ team is not realizing that you need to find people who have complementary strengths and can work together, but is rather that sometimes the right person doesn't look the par...
  • Trung Thieu
    This book is 5☆ in the knowledge that we could get.the writing style would be less because the author talked and praised himself too much. however I think it's fair because it's about his personal experiences and how he got over the hard things.1 observation is that at the beginning of the book, there are lots of highlights but it drops near the end. Probably readers feel less engaged gradually with the book.Will need to summarize the lesson-le...
  • Михайло Мариняк
    Читається на одному подиху, а читати треба кілька разів. Книга наповнена порадами, які вимагають трохи рефлексії, бо люди роблять бізнес успішним.Пісні з епіграфів додав до свого списку улюблених пісень :)
  • Lech Kaniuk
    Every founding CEO should read this book!
  • Jurgen Appelo
    Endless boring stories about how to handle situations when organizations are badly managed.
  • Sipho
    Entrepreneur turned venture capitalist Ben Horowitz wrote this book to teach entrepreneurs the truth about starting and running a business. This book comes highly recommended from many successful business people for its candour and insight. Key Takeaways There is no secret to being a world class CEO or leader: you just need the courage to make decisions when there are no easy answers.Hard things are hard because there is no template or formula to...
  • Ryan
    It's not as relevant for someone who isn't thinking starting a business. However, it provides enough insight for those working in one to understand why some processes are the way they are. When the book discusses individuals regarding CEO -> relationships, those guidelines are transferable to the other side. Helps you understand business decisions from a CEO point of view.