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The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers Hardcover – Mar 4 2014

4.8 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: HarperBusiness (March 4 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062273205
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062273208
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.6 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 522 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #526 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

Review

“More than any other business book released this year, “Hard Things” gives an insider’s perspective on what it’s like to lead and scale a startup.” (--Business Insider's Best Business Books of 2014)

“This is easily one of the essential books every business leader should read if they’re looking for proven and honest management advice.” (--Entrepreneur's 25 Amazing Business Books from 2014)

“The most valuable book on startup management hands down” (PandoDaily)

“There is more than enough substance in Mr. Horowitz’s impressive tome to turn it into a leadership classic.” (The Economist)

From the Back Cover

A lot of people talk 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 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 schools don't cover. His blog has garnered a devoted following of millions of readers who have come to rely on him to help them run their businesses. A lifelong rap fan, Horowitz amplifies business lessons with lyrics from his favorite songs and tells it straight about everything from firing friends to poaching competitors, from 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 popular 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 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 Horowitz's trademark humor and straight talk, and drawing from his personal and often humbling experiences, The Hard Thing About Hard Things is invaluable for veteran entrepreneurs as well as those aspiring to their own new ventures.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Ben Horowitz is a very well known name in the Silicone Valley circles. A veteran of tech industry and a very successful entrepreneur, Horowitz is a cofounder of Andreesen-Horowitz, one of the most dynamic and successful high-tech venture capital firms. Those credentials, impressive as they are, would not in-and-of themselves distinguished Horowitz in the place that is teeming with incredibly talented and incredibly successful individuals. What really makes Horowitz one of the most admired figures in the world of high-tech startups are his unique willingness and ability to share the hard-earned insights from his experiences with others who are embarking upon the same path of building a successful company. For many years Horowitz has shared many of those insights via his blog. In “The Hard Thing About The Hard Things” he’s distilled some of those insights into an engaging and extremely informative book.

Writing a blog may seem like a great way of accumulating enough material for a book: you write when the fancy strikes you, you don’t have any writing deadlines to deal with, you don’t have to worry about the stricture of the written material, you get immediate and ongoing feedback from your readers which can help you correct and refine your ideas, etc. However, from my experience, most blogs that have been turned into books tend to be a failure. The fragmentary and disjoined nature of blog writing is at odds with the clear and unified structure that we’ve come to expect from books. Horowitz manages to overcome that barrier, and the book the book that comes out of his blog is remarkably coherent and smooth.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've read many many business books, and this one, by far, is the best and the one I can relate to the most in regards to being in charge of company. I usually don't like to highlight passages in a book, or take many notes, but I found myself repeatedly going "aha!" and highlighting a passage to go back and review. Just read it - I know I will, again.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Story telling is the most effective teaching tool

Ben's choice of stories were also accompanied by the emotions and psychological 'boogie men' that can steal your focus so you need the no bulls*** narrative to capture the essence of his message

I have given this to 1/2 dozen entrepreneurs and will continue to spread the experience to others

George
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a must read even if you are not a CEO, or you don't have plan to be one.
It is good because you will understand the pressure on the CEOs. Also, you will find what is going wrong in your company!
I have recommended this book to the CEO of my previous company, and I will recommend it to all CEOs that I work for them :)

The only issue with the book is sometimes, I didn't get the stories, or didn't know the characters the author talking about, since I am not born and raised in US. But, a simple Google search will fix it :)
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I run a multi-million dollar company, and reading this book, It was like somebody was looking over my shoulder on the problems I've had and the mistakes I've done ... What was great was I found out the reasons why, and how to deal with them .., this book really was a revelation in so many ways ... I'm a little choked I didn't figure these things out for myself... But glad I know now! Great advice and appliable to business at any level .
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book both scared the living daylights out of me but also encouraged me to 'embrace the struggle' that is technology entrepreneurship.

The book fills in a few blanks from Ben's awesome blog posts. You will better understand what the important things are, what the hard things are, what your actual role is and why you feel the way you do.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Awesome book, love to read real war stories and motivational to read truthful bits about hard times. It's comforting to know that as hard as things get you can find a way out and that even the big names struggled a ton.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A must read for any fast growing business. ActioNable steps to take along with a map of the minefield - you'll experience less pain in your business thanks to Ben
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