The Struggle of Building Beautiful Things

Every entrepreneur starts her company with a clear vision for success. You will create an amazing environment and hire the smartest people to join you. Together you will build a beautiful product that delights customers and makes the world just a little bit better. It’s going to be absolutely awesome.

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The Hard Thing About Hard Things

I bumped into Ben Horowitz on Monday and had the chance to talk to him about his book, The Hard Thing About Hard Things. I haven’t read it yet, but I downloaded it to my Kindle app after talking to him about it.

 

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Quoted: Ben Horowitz On Hiring Rich People

“I had a terrible time hiring rich people. It sounds funny but the problem is when things go wrong they can ask, ‘Why am I doing this?’ You don’t ever want anybody asking that question. You want them to say, ‘I know why I’m doing it, I need the money, let’s go.’ ”

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The Ugly Thing about The Hard Thing About Hard Things

Who is Ben Horowitz?
And what is his book about?
And what’s ugly about it?

The book is called “The Hard Thing About Hard Things”, which I will refer to as THTAHT.

I will tell you what’s the “Ugly thing” in a minute, but let me make it clear: the book is excellent, easily one of the best reads you can hope for. However, if you read it carefully, you will be very unhappy afterwards.
Let’s go in order.

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4 Hard Earned Lessons from Ben Horowitz

Entrepreneur and venture capitalist Ben Horowitz gets real in his recently released book The Hard Thing About The Hard Things. While most start-up stories read like a romance novel, Ben’s book is more like watching the film Fight Club.

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Three management mantras that Ben Horowitz says are stupid

Before becoming one of the founding partners of venture capital behemoth Andreessen Horowitz, Ben Horowitz co-founded and was CEO of Opsware, a software company. His recently published book, The Hard Thing About Hard Things, is a chronicle of the company’s series of near deaths, eventual sale to Hewlett-Packard, and the management lessons learned on the way. 

In an interview with Quartz, Horowitz broke down three of the persistent management phrases that need to be removed from leaders’ vocabularies.

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Hard truths: Reasons why bosses fire staff

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Keen On… Success: Why 99.9% Of Tech Companies Aren’t WhatsApp or Instagram

Reggie Aggarwal, the founder and CEO of Cvent, describes himself as a “15 year overnight success”. Having founded Cvent in 1999 and raised $17 million for this cloud based B2B event management platform, Aggarwal’s startup experienced near-death after the dotcom crash of May 2000. But in spite of laying off 80% of his staff, Aggarwal persevered, kept 90% of the original executives on his team and eventually succeeded in building a very successful company. Cvent went public last August and the company now has a $1.5 billion market cap.

“99% of businesses aren’t WhatsApp or Instagram”, Aggarwal reminded me. Most tech businesses, he says, are built over many years. It’s a really important message which, coincidentally, is also being made by Ben Horowitz in his new book The Hard Thing About Hard Things. And Aggarwal is himself a sterling example of a determined entrepreneur who kept his head down – not giving a single media interview for 10 years – and focused exclusively on building a viable company.

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Ben Horowitz Gets Real: You Laid Off People Because You F---ed Up

Ben Horowitz, the rapper-quoting cofounder of venture firm Andreessen Horowitz, is on a book tour at the moment, promoting The Hard Thing About Hard Things. The tour brought him to New York’s General Assembly last night for a one-on-one chat with Steve Stoute, the CEO of ad agency Translation.

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Ben Horowitz Explains How to Spot a Winning Tech Idea

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