The Hard Thing About Hard Things

by Wojciech Adam Koszek   ⋅   Jun 25, 2015   ⋅   Menlo Park, CA

Book which I prefer much more than "Zero to One", as it's written by the guy who went through many, many obstacles and try to make it through.

If you were present somewhere close to Bay Area circa 2014–2015, and you’ve asked about some resources for entrepreneurs and people interested in startups, there are several well-known classics which are considered a Mekka of startup knowledge. Today I’m proud to announce that by audio bookshelf has been extended by 1 important resource and I feel soon it’ll become a classic referred to by many individuals.

Horowitz’s “The Hard Thing About Hard Things” is written in a pretty interesting style. Just like one of the things which you may not know about Steve Vai is that he’s a bee-keeper, you may not know is that Ben Horowitz seems to be be a fan of certain style of music. Which one? Get to learn it from the book. Prelude to each chapter consists of quotations from several artists. I may not be a big fan of any of them, but I’m a big fan of all drummers which these people hire for live tours. Consider it a quiz!

The thing I didn’t know is that when Horowitz joined Netscape he was equally old as I am when writing these words (28). The time to join Netscape was the right one, and after record-setting IPO he moved to the Loud Cloud, which just like many other entrepreneurial ventures from the Silicon Boom of 2000’s was waaay ahead of its time.

From there on started a journey of Horowitz as what he calls a Wartime CEO. I do agree that many of the resources which I’ve tapped to help myself understand modern business better to a large extent concentrate on funding, building and working with the teams and products. Yet very few explain how How To Deal With Problems.

Next thing which I didn’t realize that unlike the spectacular 16 months from the funding to the IPO in the Netscape’s case, Loud Cloud Inc and further Opsware took 8 years of Horowitz’s tenure as a CEO.

On of the things about the book is that the title matches fairly accurately what the book is really all about. As hard topics as laying people off in difficult times are explained from perspective of people and a CEO. I also wondered what happens when the CEO ever wants to make a decision against company’s board of directors. Well, this book explains it several times.

This is definitely a good read worth spending couple of bucks on, if you’re interested in how companies work.

Rating, performance improvement, product quality and functionality, contracts, reverse splits, upset people and all sorts of other issues explained in 1 books are a great thing. Especially when they come from a Silicon Valley T-rex.

“The Power of Habit”
“JavaScript: The Definitive Guide”

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About the author: I'm Wojciech Adam Koszek. I like software, business and design. Poland native. In Bay Area since 2010.   More about me