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 SummariesWith Instaread Summaries, you can get the summary of a book in 30 minutes or less. We read every chapter, summarize and analyze it for your convenience.
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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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...
The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz
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. Download PDF.
The Hard Thing About Hard Things has been the most recommended book to me from numerous conversations with great entrepreneurs on my podcast Growth.
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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., 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.
Managing a business as a founder or a CEO is a long and hard road. The Hard Thing About Hard Things talks about the difficulties in managing a business and how to handle the inevitable mistakes along the way. This means that there is an emotional investment in your company from hundreds, thousands, or even millions of people. By discussing the problems openly, your entire team can work on fixing it, rather than just you and a few higher-ups- who are probably too busy trying to keep the bad news hidden than do anything about it anyway. However, this is the attitude of many companies, even though their mission statement says otherwise. To fully engage in creating a positive environment for your employees, you must look to have excellent training and HR. Having a great HR department will open your eyes to invisible problems that the employees are facing.
Bell curves and random walks define what the future is going to look like. The standard pedagogical argument is that high schools should get rid of calculus and replace it with statistics, which is really important and actually useful. There has been a powerful shift toward the idea that statistical ways of thinking are going to drive the future. Nonetheless, there are many bits of advice and experience that can help with the hard things. There are no shortcuts to knowledge, especially knowledge gained from personal experience.
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.