In contrast, if you’re always taking care of the people, they’ll follow you even when the shit hits the fan – which always happens whether we like it or not. Because in the end, nobody cares; just run your company.” Ben Horowitz, Actionable Book Summary: The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz. Another thing I realized, is that many of the things I think of as being hard are periods of transition, both beginning periods and ending periods. The dot.com crisis grew even deeper, and Loudcloud had to layoff 15% of its employees. The hard thing isn’t dreaming big. Buy this book on … That is achieved through clear internal training processes. You will realize your product has flaws that are expensive to fix. The CEO’s biggest role is to design and implement the company’s communications machine. The Hard Things About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz. Keeping it in an unstable and rapidly changing market is even harder. However, what separates entrepreneurs who make it from those who fail is one essential trait. If our company isn’t good enough to win, then do we need to exist at all?” Ben Horowitz, We take care of the people, the products, and the profits—in that order.” Jim Barksdale. We get a first-person view of his life as a CEO, founder, and manager. In times of war, you have to be willing to take risks and take strategic steps to ensure that the company stays on track. The Hard Thing About Learning Hard Things. When things are always changing, you … Do not hide all of your issues from your workers. Everyone should execute on the plan conveyed by the CEO. Almost all your question starts with “Can I?”. In this summary, we’ll outline what’s covered in the book, and share some of the business and management tips. “The Hard Thing About Hard Things Summary”, If you have a start-up, you know it, if you want to have a start-up, you should know it: each. If you’re dreaming about becoming a CEO, you should read this book. However, the dot-com crash followed. This is true even when the hard we are faced with is not a thing at all, but the absence of a thing, one that we strongly desire. Besides, training should be constant and always revisited. Additionally, make the managers deliver the bad news to their employees. Internal political moves can become a challenge to creating a robust company culture. 2. If you’re like me, you probably give people the benefit of the doubt and believe that everyone has a heart as kind as yours. Whatever success I’ve had in my career, I attribute almost entirely to my aptitude for unstructured learning. Still, there is one skill that might give you a competitive advantage when things are hard. This happens over a long period of time. Author of “The Hard Thing About Hard Things” Ben Horowitz is the person who “sailed” the Loudcloud ship through turbulent business waters, before selling it to Hewlett-Packard for $1.65 billion. Always. Grab a book and BOOST your learning routine. Does she not like me?” Everybody will naturally focus on the issues, not an implicit random performance evaluation.” Ben Horowitz. You must know how to hire and fire quickly and ensure fair treatment and constant training. You can still fail. The situation was so critical that Ben held a meeting at Opsware and asked employees who were thinking about resigning to do so at the time. You might have an excellent educational background. It is necessary to be aware of the characteristics that big CEOs tend to exhibit, and for the first-time CEO, it is important to assimilate and repeat them. You’ve already spent countless hours reading amazing stories about successful entrepreneurs. Nonetheless, there are many bits of advice and experience that can help with the hard things. In many cases, as in the author’s example, external situations force the company to cut costs. Running Your Growing Company 3. Two brains are better than one. It may be just the thing you need to persist through the rough times. The CEO in wartimes has a huge responsibility. The problem with this technique? Unlike the other business books, where the authors talk mostly about how cool it is to start a business, how to raise capital, and how important it is to carefully plan your next 5 years, in The Hard Things About The Hard Things you’ll find what to do when things go south. $15.00 paperback, 304 pages. Sometimes, however, the things you’re not doing are the things you should actually be focused on.” Ben Horowitz, Life is struggle.” I believe that within that quote lies the most important lesson in entrepreneurship: Embrace the struggle.” Ben Horowitz, Spend zero time on what you could have done, and devote all of your time on what you might do. Summary. But there is more to starting a business than just thinking about it, and Ben Horowitz faces this challenge head-on. He outlines his screw-ups in addition to how his team fixed them or screwed them up further. The first is the acquisition of talent / intellectual property, and usually, it occurs in the range of $ 5 to 50 million. Or, you can think of it as a series of conversations with bosses and mentors. It was indeed a risky move, and although the company raised money out of the IPO, nobody was celebrating. Your finances will run low, and your investors may bail. Whenever you think you are out of moves, think harder. Can I overcome those obstacles? The Hard Thing About Hard Things talks about the difficulties in managing a business and how to handle the inevitable mistakes along the way. There’s a big difference between reading and listening. Being a CEO is being able to bet when there are no options. To get you through those hard times, check out the hardest things about learning English, and how you can get past them. It is important that the company invests in fair resignation plans, relocation plans, recommendations for other companies and everything else that is possible to help the professional in this difficult time. Always communicate to your employees the importance of their roles and how their work will be evaluated to ensure the company’s performance continues to evolve. The Hard Thing about Hard Things is about being a CEO and how challenging that job is. Getting Through the Hard Times 2. But the reality is very much different from everything you’ve learned or read about. However, what separates entrepreneurs who make it from those who fail is one essential trait. It is also important to create a continuous feedback loop, where it is always explicit to practitioners and managers what they did right and what they could do better. Being scared doesn’t mean you are gutless. These discrepancies can create problems in the work expectations regarding speed and goals to be achieved in the company at different times. Recursively apply the general system for learning to do hard things to the thing you’re stuck on. #BLACKFRIDAY 12min - Get your career back on track! If the original hard thing is now easy, you’re done. There is no easy way to run a company and no secret sauce to being a successful CEO. Below are my notes, gut reactions, and raw thoughts from each chapter. The seemingly more qualified candidate had all the skills necessary to be a great VP of sales, but he did not have a good fit with the company’s culture, which upset many at the time. It’s complicated being a CEO, but if there is one critical skill that stands out in the best CEOs is the ability to do the right thing even when there are no good options. At Opsware, Ben was looking for a good executive to lead the company’s sales team. You can not let these emotions take away your rationality and your decision-making power. With a different macroeconomic context, new challenges arise in the technological scenario, and they can challenge the survival of the company. The Struggle is the moment you realize that despite your efforts and your awesome team, product, the abundance of money even, your vision for success is far from reaching. The author suggests following the first principle of the Bushido way – the way of the warrior. In his book, he presents his ideas that not a thing exists in this world that can promise entrepreneurial success. All training must be functional, giving employees the skills they need to achieve their goals and succeed. There are dozens of management and leadership books written by CEOs and top executives. To avoid this kind of behavior, one must hire only ambitious people to the company itself and not just for their careers. It’s your job to put the pieces together and even resurrect your company from the ashes if the worse happens. It’s honest and it’s ugly, but it’ll give you a true understanding of life as an entrepreneur. HR is like a quality sector of the business itself. Companies are like a roller coaster and have their ups and downs. In my mind a “hard thing” was a single project that was technically difficult. It is an ever revolving door for teachers. The second is the acquisition focused on bringing the purchased company’s products so the buyer can sell them to their current customers and thus expand their product portfolio. This effort to ensure that only those members of the team who truly believed in the business stayed, was the right choice and, in the long run, pushed the stock price from cents to $ 7 in record time. In The Hard Things About The Hard Things, he gives us a detailed description of the lessons he learned from running a company, saving it from bankruptcy – a couple of times – and later selling it. Software will brake. That’s the hard thing about hard things—there is no formula for dealing with them. This architecture includes standard meetings, processes, etc. Go ask an expert or a rubber duck for advice. Recently I read “The Hard Thing About Hard Things” and took notes throughout. If you’re a CEO, and you’re looking to hire people in higher roles – think HR director, CFO, VP of sales – make sure you’ve done the job yourself. In my weekly staff meeting, I inserted an agenda item titled “What Are We Not Doing?” Ordinarily in a staff meeting, you spend lots of time reviewing, evaluating, and improving all of the things that you do: build products, sell products, support customers, hire employees, and the like. ISBN-13 978-0547265452 . By writing “The Hard Thing About Hard Things,” Horowitz shows that he is not only a successful business person but a first-rate storyteller as well. You can read a ton of business books and still lack the discipline to put your company on the top. The one-to-one meeting is an opportunity for the employee to share progress and challenges and it is up to the manager to help him/her overcome them. A good technique is called “Shit sandwich.” For each difficult or delicate topic, always try to put it between two other positive topics. Ben Horowitz is a general partner and co-founder of Silicon Valley venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. The particular hard may last a long time or a little, depending on what it is. This profile likes to make important strategic decisions and play chess, coldly calculating the game against its competitors. Mandatory reading for first-time CEOs, high-growth startups, and investors who want to know what it’s like to be on the other side of the negotiating table. As for my personal takeaway from The Hard Thing About Hard Things, it should be about creating an awesome culture in your company. I was expecting more about struggles and obstacles, but found I actually liked the balance between the three parts: the struggle of a leader, how to build a company that lasts and what it takes to be a great CEO. However, they do not like execution very much, consisting of training, performance management, process design, among others. The truth is that good CEOs mature on a daily basis. Many companies say that communication is a priority, but few really know that a big company relies on taking care of the people who make it. You must ensure that you hire someone whose experience is consistent with the size of the company. The emotional difficulty stems from the feeling of selling out the team and getting out of a business that had a consistent revenue volume and steady growth. Ben Horowitz – one of Silicon Valley’s most respected and experienced investors – decided to go beyond his popular blog and share his insights on the challenges of startups in a book. Many investors and company boards wonder if CEOs are a natural born way or nurtured over a lifetime. Congrats! There are two types of CEOs. In addition to communicating with the executive him/herself, it is also necessary to communicate to the team and ensure that the business continues to run normally and that it is moving forward. Following the layoff, its stock prices fell. In the end, he decided to sell the company, and it was heartbreaking, but now he considers it to be one of the best business moves of his career. And though the answer is positive, the steps to go beyond that wretched place are far from easy. Hierarchy helps people understand the value of their work and how much they have to be strategic to stay in that position. Hard things are hard because there are no easy answers or recipes. For some reason I was expecting this book to be about how to do hard things. 2. 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 … Not really. People are the backbone of every company, no matter the size. MicroSummary: Silicon Valley legend Ben Horowitz’s The Hard Thing About Hard Things is a no-nonsense peek into the challenging world of startups. That’s what makes it such a fan favorite. 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. And if you feel that this time has come, you have to be fast and fair. People aren’t stupid and they’ll quickly sense what’s coming. Regardless of the CEO profile you are, you need to understand your weaknesses and work to develop them. Now that we’d improved our competitive position, we went on the offensive. Also, make sure you, as CEO, have a competitive salary at the company to ensure that your interest in the business is not compromised by your personal finances. The first thing that any successful CEO must do is get really great people to work for her. However, there are some life lessons you have to learn the hard way. 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 … If you’re a CEO, you’re going to have to fire people at some point. Can I implement my ideas well? His … Like this summary? Nobody will think, “Gee, what did she really mean by that comment? Also, you need to understand what caused the error and how to ensure that it is avoided in the future. Your skillset. Höre The Hard Thing About Hard Things gratis | Hörbuch von Ben Horowitz, gelesen von Kevin Kenerly | 30 Tage kostenlos | Jetzt GRATIS das Hörbuch herunterladen | Im … Boost your life and career with the best book summaries. In “The Hard Thing about Hard Things”, he shares his experience as an entrepreneur, CEO and venture capitalist, and offers practical tips and advice for dealing with the “hard things” in business that have no clear answers. Lesson #3: Nobody Cares About Your Troubles, Just Run Your Company. If you have a start-up, you know it, if you want to have a start-up, you should know it: each start-up faces the struggle. Just as boxers need to train skills involving their legs, it is the CEO’s role to do unnatural tasks in a natural way. If the CEO constantly gives feedback, then everyone she interacts with will just get used to it. However, one of the most important rites is the one-to-one meetings each executive and manager must have their direct reports. What Makes a Leader? Not even your mom. Best Quotes from “The Hard Thing About Hard Things” by Ben Horowitz You’re the founder & CEO of a company that’s just been valued at $2 Billion — sounds great, I know. Keep being human, and explain to people that it is not their fault that they lost their jobs. Still, Ben Horowitz gives us a couple of traits (3) that will help us get started or assist us if we’re already running a company but we feel somehow lost: Love taking notes? The VP of sales who had several weaknesses but was extremely qualified was much better than a perfect candidate with few flaws. It seems like starting an entrepreneurial business is all the rage these days. These acquisitions are in the range of $ 25-250 million. It is also crucial to invest in training to ensure that all company employees master their responsibilities. Often, this type of management can result in organizations that, faced with a major decision, slow down or make more consensual decisions which are risky. Sign up for my newsletter and download the Reader's Kit.  Horowitz shares his experiences in the hope of providing clues and inspiration for others who find themselves in the struggle to build something out of nothing. He teaches readers using a refreshing approach and allusions from real-life famous people such as Jay Z, Dr. Seuss, or Clint Eastwood. Even with all the advice and hindsight in the world, hard things will continue to be hard things. The market will change when you least expected to change. When Netscape veterans Ben Horowitz and Marc Andreessen founded their cloud services provider Loudcloud, they soon hit a bumpy road. The first type has a decision-making profile, with a focus on defining the organization’s path, vision, and strategy, but prefers not to focus specifically on day-to-day implementation, management and performance. Horowitz had a lot of those. The hard thing is laying people off when you miss the big goal. Becoming a good CEO is rarely about mastering a specific task. The head of a company, should be someone that possesses a mixture of qualities and also a person who can articulate a clear vision that will inspire others to follow him, no matter what. Undeserved promotions, gossip, and conflicts between areas are evils which must be cut at the root. You can’t predict the future, that’s for sure. As the legendary coach of CEOs in Silicon Valley said, you cannot let them stay, but you have to let them keep their dignity. The Hard Thing About Hard Things has been the most recommended book to me from numerous conversations with great entrepreneurs on my … Those stories energized you and got you to dream BIG. “We’d built something from nothing, saw it go back to nothing again and then rebuilt it into a $1.65 billion franchise.”. The hard thing isn’t setting a big, hairy, audacious goal. We firmly believe The Hard Thing About Hard Things is a must-read for every entrepreneur, from veterans to beginners. So, a couple of things to do that will help you get past the Struggle with fewer casualties: Regardless of what you’re doing, at some point, things will begin to fall apart. Therefore, it is crucial that he/she ensures the company has a good human resources department and that it detects signs of visible problems in your organization. You must understand that, as CEO, you are responsible for the hiring mistake and communicate this to the shareholders and the board of directors. The hard thing is when those “great people” develop a sense of entitlement and start demanding unreasonable things. The next great thing will be introduced tomorrow and obsolete by weeks’ end. It is not able to deliver the product itself but it tells if you are offering good products and if the quality standard is improving or not. Partners will raise their prices. 1. 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