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The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers

Unabridged Audiobook

Written By: Ben Horowitz

Narrated By: Kevin Kenerly

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers

Date: March 2014

Duration: 7 hours 59 minutes

Summary:

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.

Genres:

  • Max R

    You need to be CEO to understand the deep roots of this. If you are... it's a terrific book.

  • Anishay Rah

    Very practical solutions to very real problems any CEO would face. Some of the problems he addresses are beyond my experience at the Moment, but the accuracy of the rest will definitely make me read this book again in a couple of years when I've reached those problems.

  • Frank Drucker

    CEO - centric book leaves the rest of management wanting for more. Unless you're a CEO, you may find it hard to relate to this book. I've been a COO and had a hard time staying interested.

  • Helen Oakley

    I really enjoyed this book. Interesting, educational, funny, clever and well-written. I've also enjoyed the narrating - it definitely added the tone and soul of the book. Definitely recommend it!