The Hard Thing About Hard Things Summary 2023 - Deepstash

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The Hard Thing About Hard Things Summary

About The Hard Thing About Hard Things Book

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.

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The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz

“Hard Things” gives an insider’s perspective on what it’s like to lead and scale a startup.

First Hand Knowledge

First Hand Knowledge

There are no shortcuts to knowledge, especially knowledge gained from personal experience. Following conventional wisdom and relying on shortcuts can be worse than knowing nothing at all.

Learn to separate facts from perception. Especially when the “facts” seem to dictate a certain outcome, look for alternative narratives and explanations coming from radically different perspectives. Even one alternative, plausible scenario can breathe life back into you and your workforce.

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I Will Survive

Running a startup, you only ever experience two emotions: euphoria and terror.

You need two kinds of friends in your life:

  • One you can call when something good happens, and they’ll be excited for you.
  • One you can call when things go horribly wrong.

Treat the people who leave fairly, or the people who stay will never trust you again.

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This Time With Feeling

Sometimes the only way to survive is to purposely go out and fall on your face, so you can learn fast and know what is needed. Whenever a large organization attempts to do anything, it always comes down to a single person who can delay the entire project.

Figuring out the right product is the innovator’s job, not the customer’s job. The innovator can take into account everything that’s possible, often going against what she knows to be true. This requires a combination of knowledge, skill, and courage.

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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…

Follow Bushido—The Way Of The Warrior

  • There is one skill that stands out as CEO is the ability to focus and make the best move when there are no good moves.
  • First principle of the Bushido—the way of the warrior: keep death in mind at all times. If a warrior keeps death in mind at all times and lives as though each day might be his last, he will conduct himself properly in all his actions.

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CEOS SHOULD TELL IT LIKE IT IS

  • Stand up to the pressure, face your fear, and tell it like it is.
  • Horowitz’s single biggest personal improvement as CEO occurred on the day when he stopped being too positive.
  • An early lesson Ben learned was that whenever a large organization attempts to do anything, it always comes down to a single person who can delay the entire project.
  • If you want to be great, this is the challenge. If you don’t want to be great, then you never should have started a company.

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Being Transparent About Company’s Problems

1. Trust. Without trust, communication breaks. More specifically: In any human interaction, the required amount of communication is inversely proportional to the level of trust.

2. The more brains working on the hard problems, the better.

3. A good culture is like the old RIP routing protocol: Bad news travels fast; good news travels slow.

A healthy company culture encourages people to share bad news. A company that discusses its problems freely and openly can quickly solve them.

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The truth as proven knowledge

Knowledge that is unproven is a hypothesis 

It takes courage to explore the unknown and unproven when everyone has based their expertise on the status quo. people crave certainty. 

"The innovator can take into account everything that’s possible" 

So people must weigh the truth with what is possible in the world beyond their company and maybe even the whole industry to understand greater possibilities. 

All innovation happens this way.

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My thought about this book may help you out somehow

RIAN

Anthony asked Frank how many days he have to deal with the problem. After knowing the time. He just leave for a good chance.

When others do not trust or believe in you. Do not follow them. It's better if you ask what you need to do to improve and use that as a guide to get better. YOU CAN DO BETTER.

RIAN

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GOOD PART OF THE BOOK

GOOD PART OF THE BOOK

“An early lesson I learned in my career was that whenever a large organization attempts to do anything, it always comes down to a single person who can delay the entire project. An engineer might get stuck waiting for a decision or a manager may think she doesn’t have authority to make a critical purchase. These small, seemingly minor hesitations can cause fatal delays. I could not afford any hesition so I scheduled a daily meeting with Anthony, Jason, and the team—though they were now based in Plano.”

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