The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers

by: Ben Horowitz

Buy it here

Book Summary:

I highly recommend this book for anyone who thinks they might want to be a CEO one day, or anyone looking to reach executive levels within an organization.

Ben Horowitz does an incredible job of telling his story, building credibility, and then answering a bunch of tough questions with great detail and thoughtful responses.

My favorite part about this book was at the beginning when he claims that it holds no definite answers and isn’t selling a framework. Instead, he uses his experience to answer some of the toughest questions management will be faced with.

Hearing the stories of execs like Mark Zuckerberg, Mark Andreessen and others is an added perk to reading this book.

These chapters are nice and short, but they are packed full of concise and well thought out content.

This is definitely a must read.

Biggest Takeaway:

There are way too many takeaways to list here.

Here are just a few highlights:

  • A CEO is a lonely job and their main job is to make hard decisions.
  • Don’t hire the smartest people, instead look for the smartest people within your culture.
  • Don’t allow politics to creep into your culture (Ben has great tips on how to stop this from happening)
  • The creativity/accountability paradox, you can’t punish those who are seeking to grow and scale the organization.
  • How to know when to hire a new CEO (ones and twos)
  • Don’t give people a shit sandwich (a compliment, followed by a criticism, followed by a compliment).