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The Hard Thing About Hard Things

Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


Ben Horowitz, cofounder of Andreessen Horowitz and one of Silicon Valley's most respected and experienced entrepreneurs, offers essential advice on building and running a startup—practical wisdom for managing the toughest problems business school doesn’t cover, based on his popular ben’s blog.

While many people talk about how great it is to start a business, very few are honest about how difficult it is to run one. Ben Horowitz analyzes the problems that confront leaders every day, sharing the insights he’s gained developing, managing, selling, buying, investing in, and supervising technology companies. A lifelong rap fanatic, he 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.

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.

From Publishers Weekly

Dec 23, 2013 – Horowitz, a tech entrepreneur turned venture capitalist, offers hard-earned business advice and a compendium of the best posts from his popular blog (ben's blog). For the budding tech mogul, this is heady stuff, and politic to heed, as his firm, Andreesen Horowitz, is a nearly $3 billion powerhouse that has invested in winners, including Skype, Facebook, Groupon, Twitter, and Zynga. But shrewd investing decisions don't make for riveting prose, as Horowitz repeatedly trots out war and military metaphors to describe the struggle to sustain past businesses. Horowitz is far sharper when he's blunt and candid. Admitting that as a CEO he was always scared is far more useful to the aspiring mogul than heading many chapters with hip-hop lyrics describing street corner struggles. Though passages about minimizing office politics and how a startup executive might grow into managing a larger business contain novel insights, most of the useful observations come from citing other titans, including Intel CEO Andy Grove, Intuit head Bill Campbell, and management guru Tony Robbins. This manual reads as a collection of war stories from the 1990s boom-and-bust era blended with platitudes from an older generation of established business leaders.

Customer Reviews

Writer, Reader

This book is great if you’re trying to start and also manage a fast growth, technology company. Even if you aren’t, it has some exellent common-sense advie about managing fast growing organizations.

Honest and to the point

I’m half way through and I find myself knodding and agreeing with most of the content within this book. I joined a fast growing company that has tripled in size within the past year and I certainly could of used many of the lessons shared in this book.

Easy Read
Specific advice based on various realistic business scenarios
Shows the ugly side of entrepreneurship that is all too often hidden

The Hard Thing About Hard Things

Revelatory and incisive. A hard-nosed look at the underbelly of high-tech entrepreneurship.

The Hard Thing About Hard Things
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  • $12.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Management & Leadership
  • Published: Mar 04, 2014
  • Publisher: HarperBusiness
  • Seller: HarperCollins
  • Print Length: 304 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings