The hard thing about hard things summary

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the hard thing about hard things summary

The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz - A 30-minute Summary & Analysis: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Instaread Summaries

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This is an InstaRead Summary of The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz.

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Introduction

Ben explains that every time he reads a self-help or management book, he thinks about the fact that it didn’t really address the hard things like laying people off or having good people start demanding unreasonable things. The problem with self-help books is that they try to provide a recipe for dealing with difficult, dynamic situations. Challenging situations can not be solved with a formula. Instead of using a formula in this book, the author presents his story as he progressed from an entrepreneur to CEO to venture capitalist. He shares some of the lessons he has learned along the way. He explains that although circumstances may differ, patterns and lessons resonate with each experience. For the last several years, he has shared lessons learned on his popular blog. Many people have emailed him to ask about the stories behind the lessons. Ben shares that he has been inspired along the way by many family members, friends, and advisers who have helped him. Hip-hop/rap music has also inspired him because these artists aspire to be both great and successful. He also admires that rappers see themselves as entrepreneurs.  

1: From Communist to Venture Capitalist

Ben’s grandparents were card-carrying Communists. His dad grew up indoctrinated in the Communist philosophy. Ben’s family moved to Berkeley, California, in 1968. His dad then became the editor of the famous New Left magazine, Ramparts. When Ben was five, his family moved to Bonita Avenue, a middle-class Berkeley neighborhood. One day, a friend of Ben’s older brother, Roger, pointed to an African American kid down the block who happened to be riding in a red wagon. Roger dared Ben to go tell the kid to give him his wagon, and if he refused,to spit in his face and call him a racial epithet. Roger wasn’t a racist and did not come from a bad family. Ben later found out that he had schizophrenia. He had wanted to see a fight. Ben was afraid of Roger, and his demand put him in a very tough situation. He thought Roger would beat him up if he didn’t do what he told him to do.  He was also afraid to ask for the wagon. He walked toward the boy and when he got near enough, he said, “Can I ride in your wagon?” The boy, Joel Clark Jr., said, “Sure.” Ben turned to look at Roger and saw that he was gone. Ben went on to play with Joel all day, and they have been best friends ever since. That experience taught Ben that being scared didn’t mean he was gutless. He learned that what he did mattered and determined whether he would be a hero or a coward. If he had completely followed Roger’s order, he would have never met his best friend. He also learned not to judge things by appearance alone. If a...
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Ben Horowitz: Nailing the Hard Things [Entire Talk]

The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz

Summaries, high-level notes, ratings and detailed notes for books I've read across a wide range of topics, from entrepreneurship to marketing to philosophy. Available at: Amazon. To start, I'll admit that when I read this, I wasn't in a real position to leverage everything that was being talked about, which is likely why I didn't give it higher than an 8. That said, this is the kind of book you refer back to throughout your life in business, and I think it has the most relevance for a an entrepreneur who is scaling up, and building a large organization, or b someone already working in a large organization, managing a relatively large department and therefore number of people. Very actionable advice in many areas, and certainly well thought out and methodical.

Read in: 4 minutes Favorite quote from the author:. When I saw that this book was one of the favorites of our own CEO at coach. The Hard Thing About Hard Things had been on top of my library for quite some time, but I was a little scared because it was quite long, to be honest. Today I decided to suck it up and see what Mr. If you want to save this summary for later, download the free PDF and read it whenever you want.

He says:. I had to stop being a boy. And become a man. I had to put first things first. I had to consider people I liked most before I considered myself. That for me was one of the deepest moments in the book. This part really resonated with me because I became an estranged, internal enemy of the startup I was in when it unethically fired some of my colleagues.

Managing a business as a founder or a CEO is a long and hard road.
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Lesson 1: The CEO should be the first one to shout when a crisis occurs.

Horowitz opens by describing his time as a part of the core management team at Netscape, then his tenure as CEO of LoudCloud and OpsWare, finally providing insights from his current position as head of a venture capital company. Along the way, he highlights many of the key challenges he was faced with and describes the decisions he made to lead the companies through challenges. He spends time dissecting the situation and providing lessons learned. While the book is a fascinating read about the rise, struggles, and shifts in IT companies during the Tech Bubble burst, it is the decision making and the lessons about why the decisions were effective that make this a valuable read for leaders and those who aspire to leadership in their futures. LoudCloud started at the peak of the Tech Bubble, and with their Netscape pedigree, money was being thrown at them from venture capitalists and banks. Six months later, while they had been growing team size with little product progress, the bubble burst and the next influx of money they would need could not be found anywhere.

4 thoughts on “The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz - A 30-minute Summary & Analysis: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Instaread Summaries

  1. In 'The Hard Thing about Hard Things' he shares his experience of being a founder-CEO and the hard decisions he has had to make — offering advice on.

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