The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz

1 minute read

Subtitled Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers, I have to admit I really kind of liked this book. While I don’t agree with everything that Horowitz did in his career at Opsware (and its always easy to Monday morning quarterback someone else’s decisions), the thing I did like about this was its honesty and solid advice on what to do when there are, well… no easy answers.

Fact of the matter is, most business books give you ridiculously perfect scenarios on how you should do things, from basic management to strategy and operations which, frankly, suffer from the old Army adage about plans never surviving contact with the enemy.

This book speaks frankly about the fact you’ll rarely have full information when you have to actually make decisions. It’s hard letting people go who’ve worked their asses off to build your company with you. What to do if you have an issue with an executive and a bunch of advice hard-won. I’m not saying it’s all good, and that some of it is biased to Horowitz’s opinion, but besides the fact it adds something for you to think about, and what makes sense in people from CEOs to Sales to other executives (I now know where my boss, for example, got his love of the phrase “Startup CEO”), it does have some solidly good material to mull over.

Probably the best business book I’ve read in the past year. Well done, Mr Horowitz. Definitely a thumbs up read from me.

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