Ben Horowitz is considered one of Silicon Valley’s most respected and experienced entrepreneurs. He released The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There are No Easy Answers in March of 2014. Though it was released five years ago, it still acts as a popular guide for CEOs today, especially those in peer groups.
You may have been to business school, but that doesn’t always mean you’re ready to jump into starting a business. School doesn’t cover all the questions you may have about business. Horowitz wrote The Hard Thing About Hard Things for that very reason. Starting a business is difficult, and some of the toughest problems are ones you may not anticipate. Horowitz notes that, far too often, the great parts of starting a business are discussed, but the difficult parts are not. His experience is in technology companies—developing, managing, selling, buying, investing in, and supervising.
Based on his popular blog, the book provides strategies for navigating building and running a startup. Each main business lesson is punctuated by one of his favorite rap lyrics—adding a humorous twist to otherwise tricky subjects. You’ll learn how to fire employees (even if it’s a friend), confront competitors, and maybe most importantly, how to cultivate a CEO mentality.
Horowitz even talks about the idea of calling it quits and cashing in.
With any other business book, you will learn how to do things correctly. But with The Hard Thing About Hard Things, you will learn that there is no perfect way to do things. You can plan and plan and plan, and still mess up. He outlines his screw-ups in addition to how his team fixed them or screwed them up further. It’s honest and it’s ugly, but it’ll give you a true understanding of life as an entrepreneur. That’s what makes it such a fan favorite.