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on 15 April 2016
Less a book, more a collection fo anecdotes and ways of thinking about important, specific decisions a CEO needs to make in a young company. Thoroughly good advice and a useful checklist to help you think through these kinds of decisions in a logical manner.
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on 24 January 2015
Andreasson Horowitz sees a unique perspective - receiving pitches from the clever people creating the future. It rubs off and they add a few ideas of their own. Truly inspirational, yet with its feet firmly on the ground.
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on 11 August 2016
The hard thing about hard things deals with the trials that Ben Horowitz encountered during his career as founder CEO to VC at Andreessen Horowitz. The book gives practical advice on how to grow a company, find the right executives, and deal with the hard decisions along the way.

The first half of the book mainly covers Horowitz's back story and it takes a while for anything of real value to be mentioned. By the halfway mark though the book offers plenty of bookmark-worthy snippets of advice which should be relevant to anyone who is looking to develop a career in leadership.

It's very likely I will be referring to this book again in the future.
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on 18 April 2014
The most useful advice book that I have ever read. You learn how to get past situations much worse than your own. Your fragile organisation is a lot like Ben's was. He has a story about how to fix the situation in this book.
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on 11 January 2015
Ben Horowitz shares his experience as CEO of a startup that goes through the dot com bubble, the September 11 tumultuous events, major company restructuring and market/product change to end with a final exit of 1.7 billion $.

This book is a great read and is nothing like your average business book, full of real situations involving people who are part of the history of the silicon valley

The author describes a number of difficult situations (e.g. dealing with his board during crises, taking radical business decisions, making critical hires ...) he had to manage and he succeeds in combining a crisp engaging narrative together with some more structured analysis and advice.

While the book is a must read for anybody considering founding a startup is also a read that I recommend to anybody who's involved with a startup at any level as it describes so well what are the trade offs and the dynamics of a startup and this is material that is not only interesting for executives but also for anybody who's on the startup journey.
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on 28 September 2015
This is a brilliant book, how things really are and not just the good bits. I now quote this when I'm presenting. If you're planning a business, read this, so you understand what hard and difficult decisions are, and to know they can be overcome.
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on 15 June 2016
I read this as it was recommended by people on a product management course I was attending - it is definitely with reading. The learnings you'll come away with are not necessarily tangible but it gives you a lot of room to think "how would i have done it" and the justifications behind his actions are great. Only thing I'd say is the first half where you are given a step-by-step run down of who Ben Horowitz is and what he achieved leads to a fair amount of repetition when you get to the later chapters which are more like stand alone management advice. The context is helpful but when you read it as a whole book rather than dipping in and out like a reference book then the context in the later chapters is repetitive. 4* overall and I would recommend.
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on 15 April 2015
I'm going to read this book again. It has some of the best takes on difficult situations founders of start-ups face. Start-ups are not easy and face many decisions with no clear right or wrong answer. This book will help anybody prepare better for these situations.
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on 13 February 2016
It’s probably like this if you don’t get it:

Q: How many Vietnam (or your era’s conflict of attrition) vets does it take to change a lightbulb ?

The engaging back story provides rich context and the apparently honest analysis has helped me better understand some of the bizarre leadership behaviours I have observed, and my own mistakes.

”there’s no recipe for motivating teams when your business has turned to crap.”

This book should help you empathise with and support a leader, or better manage your own issues. Whilst the focus is on start-up to scale-up, much of it is relevant to corporate environments.
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on 9 June 2015
If anyone is qualified to talk about making tough decisions and choices it would be Mr Horowitz. I generally liked his writing style but he does err on the side of being overly opinionated at times (the redact on profanity - really?) but otherwise it's a cracking read with good case studies and examples throughout. I certainly learnt a lot.
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