The hard thing isn't setting a big, hairy, audacious goal. The hard thing is laying people off when you miss the big goal. The hard thing isn't dreaming big. The hard thing is waking up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat when the dream turns into a nightmare. There are lots of people talking about how great it is to start a business, but only Ben Horowitz is brutally honest about how hard it is to run one.
In the New York Times Bestseller The Hard Thing About Hard Things, Ben Horowitz, cofounder of Andreessen Horowitz and one of Silicon Valley's most respected and experienced entrepreneurs, draws on his own story of founding, running, selling, buying, managing, and investing in technology companies to offer essential advice and practical wisdom for navigating the toughest problems business school doesn’t cover. His blog has garnered a devoted following of millions of readers who have come to rely on his blend of insight, irreverence, example, and clarity to run their businesses. A lifelong music fanatic, Horowitz 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.
His advice is grounded in anecdotes from his own hard-earned rise—from cofounding the early cloud service provider Loudcloud to building the phenomenally successful Andreessen Horowitz venture capital firm, both with fellow tech superstar Marc Andreessen (inventor of Mosaic, the Internet’s first web browser).
This is no polished victory lap; he analyzes issues with no easy answers through his trials, including:
- Demoting (or firing) a loyal friend.
- Whether or not you should incorporate titles and promotions, and how to handle them.
- If it's ok to hire people from your friend’s company.
- How to manage your own psychology, while the whole company is relying on you.
- What to do when smart people are bad employees.
- Why Andreessen Horowitz prefers founder CEOs, and how to become one.
- Whether you should sell your company, and how to do it.
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.