Horowitz: Easy to Break Paradigms When Young

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By David Holmes

 

Last month, AOL CEO Tim Armstrong made some shockingly insensitive comments blaming AOL's benefit cuts on a pair of "distressed babies" belonging to two of his employees that he says cost the company $2 million in health care expenses.

Armstrong apologized for the comments, as he should: Blaming a company's woes on a pair of infants is both deeply hurtful to the families involved and totally lacking in compassion for all his employees.

But some might say, "Hey, isn't this just business-as-usual at big companies?"

No. Just look at Netscape's Ben Horowitz, whose book Sarah Lacy reviewed here.

In it, he tells the story of how an employee coming over from a merger during his Opsware days chose to leave the company shortly before discovering he had brain cancer. It would cost Opsware $200,000 to keep the employee on the payroll. Keep in mind, Opsware was far from financially stable.

But that didn't matter to Horowitz. He paid it. As Sarah Lacy writes, "Karma. Humanity. Leadership. There are plenty of different interpretations of this. Maybe some of you even see it as weakness. But it’s a big reason the same people who worked for Horowitz at Opsware still work for him."

For more from Horowitz, check out our PandoMonthly event where he sat down for a fireside chat with Lacy.

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Secrets of startup success

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Hip Hop Lessons for Start-Ups

Hip-hop is super-relevant to my business—venture capital and management. In the 1980s, most of the original rappers were entrepreneurs, recording CDs and selling them out of their cars. More important, hip-hop artists make listeners feel their stories—a skill many business managers need.

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A Q&A With Ben Horowitz On His New Book, “The Hard Thing About Hard Things”

Ben Horowitz’s new book on entrepreneurship and company building, The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building A Business When There Are No Easy Answers, is officially out, and it’s the polar opposite of many of the management books CEOs and founders are advised to read (you can read our review of the book here). We also sat down with Horowitz to talk about his inspiration, his honesty, what surprised him about writing the book and more.

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Ben Horowitz on the “Irrational Desire” to Succeed

For people with Andreessen Horowitz fatigue, things are about to get worse with the publication of co-founder Ben Horowitz’s new book, The Hard Thing About Hard Things

Here’s the hard truth: the book is outstanding. 

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What Tim Armstrong could learn from Ben Horowitz (or, yunno, any human being)

I’ve been sitting on this post for weeks thanks to the embargo on Ben Horowitz’s new book, which I reviewed earlier in full here.

As I was reading my galley of the book, the astoundingly shameful story about AOL CEO Tim Armstrong complaining that saving the lives of two of his employees‘ “distressed”babies had cost him too much money was making the rounds. These were employees who’d– by the way– taken jobs with full benefits and paid their premiums on health insurance for just such a worst-case-scenario disaster. That’s sort of how insurance works, after all.

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Five management lessons from Ben Horowitz

fortuneIn his new book The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers, which arrives in stores today courtesy of HarperCollins, Ben Horowitz offers his advice on building and managing a startup company.

As the co-founder of the firm Andreessen Horowitz -- not to mention the enterprise software company Opsware -- he should know. Here are five lessons from the book.

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Horowitz says Andreessen upsets him daily, explains how rap saved a life

SVBJ LogoBen Horowitz and Marc Andreessen have had a long and sometimes feisty relationship and rap music can literally be a life-saver. Those are two interesting things learned as the publicity floodgates open this week for Horowitz' new book, "The Hard Thing About Hard Things."

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VC Ben Horowitz on Karl Marx, class war and his worst business decision

Ben Horowitz, whose book "The Hard Thing About Hard Things" was published on Tuesday, doesn't dodge many questions. 

As a venture capitalist, he doesn't feel like he has to avoid topics in the same way he did as an executive or CEO of a startup or publicly traded company.

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