Heather Carson Jeff Lerner Review

Meet Heather Carson. She’s a published author and professional writer. ENTRE is helping to take her productivity and knowledge to the next level. And she’s excited to learn more about creating residual income with these new skills. Heather has been amazed by how the ENTRE Blueprint is jam-packed with knowledge and real data —no fluff. She’s also excited about what the future holds especially with the supportive coaches and advisors at ENTRE!

Welcome to another episode of Millionaire Secrets!


For today’s episode, I’ve been joined by an amazing entrepreneur: Peter Sage!


The term ‘entrepreneur’ doesn’t even begin to describe everything that Peter has accomplished.


Peter Sage is a world renowned international and serial entrepreneur, author, philosopher, and teacher.


Every day he inspires tens of thousands of people worldwide to reinvent themselves and take back control of their future.


He is single-handedly reinventing entrepreneurship!


In twenty-five years, Peter has gone from having 20 bucks in his pocket to personally starting and growing over twenty companies across a wide variety of fields.


There have been failures and there have been global successes.


Today is your chance to hear about them all!


Peter has been a qualified member of the global Entrepreneurs Organisation for over a decade and served as a member of the Entrepreneurship Advisory Board for one of the world’s top business schools, INSEAD.


If there’s anyone to learn about entrepreneurship from, it’s Peter.


If you're interested in knowing more about Peter Sage and what you can learn from him, I have just the interview for you…


Discover How Peter Sage Reinvented Entrepreneurship!




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📖 http://getpetesbook.com/


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Heather Carson Review

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

Ben Horowitz, cofounder of Andreessen Horowitz, one of Silicon Valley's most admired and experienced entrepreneurs, gives crucial advice for the creation and management of a startup Practical advice for handling the toughest issues that business schools don't have time to address, based on his wildly popular blog.

Many people speak about how wonderful it is to launch an enterprise, few of them are honest about how hard it is to manage one. Ben Horowitz analyzes the problems that leaders face every day, sharing the wisdom that he has gained from developing, managing selling, purchasing or investing in, as well as overseeing tech businesses. A lifelong fan of rap who teaches business principles by incorporating lyrics from his most loved songs, revealing the truth on everything from the firing of employees to poaching rivals, establishing and maintaining a mindset of a CEO to knowing when it is the best time to make a profit.

The book is filled with his trademark humor and straight talking, The Hard Thing about Things is a must-read for anyone who wants to know more about the hard Things is an essential resource for seasoned entrepreneurs and people who want to launch develop their own businesses and drawing inspiration from Horowitz's personal, often painful and humbling experiences.

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Audible Audiobook – Unabridged

Ben Horowitz (Author), Kevin Kenerly (Narrator), HarperAudio (Publisher)

4.6 out of 5 stars

4,112 ratings


Daniel Howard

5.0 out of 5 stars

This book is not for you

Reviewed in the United States on August 29, 2018

Verified Purchase

This is a book for CEOs of venture capital backed or public companies with 10+ employees. Unless this you are this CEO, this book will not be useful nor give you good advice; it will merely be interesting or a “what if” book.


It is probably even more narrow: CEOs of venture capital or public TECH companies IN THE SILICON VALLEY IN CALIFORNIA. The advice is very specific to Silicon Valley culture and a specific job in that culture. I’ve worked in Silicon Valley for 20+ years as an engineer and founded my own tech startup 2 years ago, yet this book still does not apply to me because I do not have the exact job described in this book.


That being said, the book made a lot sense, seemed to cover new ground (especially CEO psychology and emotions) and was a quick read. It’s a must-read for the 500 CEOs or so that it’s intended for. My one doubt is that “Is It Okay To Hire From Your Friend’s Company?” is probably illegal in California.


I got this book on the recommendation from Jumpcut Viral Academy and they should not have recommended it nor do I recommend that others read it. It’s simply not applicable nor useful to non-CEOs. But it’s easy to be star-struck by the author and inappropriately recommend this book as something that it is not. It’s an “already CEO” guide, not about self motivation, not about how to get promoted to CEO, not how to help your CEO, not how to be a VP, not how to network, not how to get funding, not how to start a business and on and on.

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Wally Bock

5.0 out of 5 stars

Solid advice for start-ups and other leaders

Reviewed in the United States on January 24, 2017

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If you want to know why The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers is worth buying, here’s the money quote.


“Almost all management books focus on how to do things correctly, so you don’t screw up, these lessons provide insight into what you must do after you have screwed up.”


If you’re planning to start a company, whether it’s a high-tech company or the kinds of companies that I started and ran, read this book. If you’re going to be someone in charge of anything in any kind of a company, read this book.


If all you want are the big ideas, or Horowitz’ philosophy, you can get them from his blog and articles. You don’t need to buy this book. But if you want a handy advisor for that 3 AM moment when you’re thinking about firing someone you like, buy the book. Keep it handy. I’ve had those moments and I wish I’d had it.


The Hard Thing About Hard Things has a whole lot of information packed inside it. You can read it from cover to cover and get a lot of value. Or, you can think of it as a series of conversations with bosses and mentors. Horowitz had a lot of those. And his mentors included people like Andy Grove and Jim Barksdale.


The wisdom that he shares and credits to them, reminds me of the wisdom that I received from bosses and mentors and which I later shared with protégés. It’s real, it’s practical, and it will help. I think that the discussion of things like firing and laying people off are more than worth the price of the book by themselves. And they’re only a small part of what’s in The Hard Thing About Hard Things.


Here are a few quotes from the book to give you an idea of what you’re in for. You don’t have to be a CEO to use what’s here, even though Horowitz aims the book at CEOs. Substitute “leader” for “CEO” in most quotes and use the wisdom.


Quotes from The Hard Thing About Hard Things


“That’s the hard thing about hard things— there is no formula for dealing with them.”


“People always ask me, ‘What’s the secret to being a successful CEO?’ Sadly, there is no secret, but if there is one skill that stands out, it’s the ability to focus and make the best move when there are no good moves. It’s the moments where you feel most like hiding or dying that you can make the biggest difference as a CEO.”


“Don’t take it personally. The predicament that you are in is probably all your fault. You hired the people. You made the decisions. But you knew the job was dangerous when you took it. Everybody makes mistakes. Every CEO makes thousands of mistakes. Evaluating yourself and giving yourself an F doesn’t help.”


“One of the most important management lessons for a founder/ CEO is totally unintuitive. My single biggest personal improvement as CEO occurred on the day when I stopped being too positive.”


“Management purely by numbers is sort of like painting by numbers— it’s strictly for amateurs.”


“The first rule of organizational design is that all organizational designs are bad.”


“Embrace the struggle.”


There are plenty more in The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers.

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Herve Lebret

5.0 out of 5 stars

There is no recipe but courage

Reviewed in the United States on May 19, 2014

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“Every time I read a management or self-help book, I find myself saying, “That’s fine, but that wasn’t really the hard thing about the situation.” The hard thing isn’t setting a big, hairy, audacious goal. The hard thing is laying people off when you miss the big goal. The hard thing isn’t hiring great people. The hard thing is when those “great people” develop a sense of entitlement and start demanding unreasonable things. The hard thing isn’t setting up an organizational chart. The hard thing is getting people to communicate within the organization that you just designed. The hard thing isn’t dreaming big. The hard thing is waking up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat when the dream turns into a nightmare. The problem with these books is that they attempt to provide a recipe for challenges that have no recipes. There’s no recipe for really complicated, dynamic situations. There’s no recipe for building a high-tech company; there’s no recipe for making a series of hit songs; there’s no recipe for playing NFL quarterback; there’s no recipe for running for president; and there’s no recipe for motivating teams when your business has gone to crap. That’s the hard thing about hard things— there is no formula for dealing with them.” This is how Horowitz begins.


Horowitz gives advice to entrepreneurs. And it is not business school-like advice indeed. “People often ask me how we’ve managed to work efficiently across three companies over eighteen years. Most business relationships either become too tense to tolerate or not tense enough to be productive after a while. Either people challenge each other to the point where they don’t like each other or they become complacent about each other’s feedback and no longer benefit from the relationship. With Marc and me, even after eighteen years, he upsets me almost every day by finding something wrong with my thinking, and I do the same for hi. It works.”


I began my review by quoting the first page. I will quote here with his final page: “Hard things are hard because there are no easy answers or recipes. They are hard because your emotions are at odds with your logic. They are hard because you don’t know the answer and you cannot ask for help without showing weakness. When I first became a CEO, I genuinely thought that I was the only one struggling. Whenever I spoke to other CEOs, they all seemed like they had everything under control. Their businesses were always going “fantastic” and their experience was inevitably “amazing”. But as I watched my peers’ fantastic, amazing businesses go bankrupt and sell for cheap, I realized I was probably not the only one struggling.” […] “Embrace your weirdness, your background, your instinct. If the keys are not there, they do not exist.”


The book is not an easy read. So you may not enjoy the book if you do not need to apply it now. Still it is a great book.

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William Christensen

5.0 out of 5 stars

Honesty where there usually isn't any

Reviewed in the United States on October 22, 2017

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This book can be read as the Art of War for business. The first few chapters alone make this book amazing with a wonderful story. After the background story is told aspects of lessons learned were broke down into detail.


Why should anyone read this book? If you read books on business you never hear how it didn't go well. This book is all about how the author and his peers seemed to always be making hard decisions and were constantly doomed to fail... But didn't. In comparison to other books, the quote from Mohammed Ali fits most books on business, "everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face." This book is about taking ever sucker punch a business can throw at a CEO and how this one survived. This book is a quick read and one anyone can enjoy.


Another reason to get this book, it helps an employee understand their manger. This book also talks about some things that no one else will say, such as a business changes then so does everyone's job... And they might not be ready for that position. As the tech industry grows forcing change, this book reinforces that a job may change over time and it is not easy.

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Allan M. Lees

5.0 out of 5 stars

Something Every CEO Should Read

Reviewed in the United States on March 25, 2014

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First a few disclaimers: I've hated nearly every "management book" I've ever read. While studying for my MBA I had to plough through all the "classics" in the genre. Afterwards, working for a high-end management consulting firm I had to read every HBR article until I wanted to reach out and strangle someone - ideally the authors of the vacuous nonsense promulgated therein. Most management books, with the notable exception of those by the late great Peter Drucker, are nothing but snake-oil and unadulterated BS.


This book is different.


This book is written from the perspective of a CEO who's been to hell and back. You may not always agree with his ideas but they are always grounded in reality, as opposed to the abstract theory of most other management books. As a four-time CEO myself I found myself thinking repeatedly "I wish I'd learned this lesson earlier in my career..." and agreeing with most of Horowitz's conclusions. While some of the language and nearly all of the sports analogies passed me by, I enjoyed the simplicity and clarity of the text itself.


Some reviewers seem to think that this book only makes sense for venture-backed CEOs in high-growth situations but I've been involved with so many smaller companies that aren't venture-backed that I believe strongly any CEO in any situation can benefit from reading this book. The ideas and guidelines aren't specific to tech companies, although that's what the author knows about. The fact is, the basic principles and actions are applicable to any company, whether it's a three-person creative design firm or a fifty-person machine shop. Things may move faster in venture-backed tech companies because the external market dynamics are extremely volatile, but in management the same problems keep coming up over and over again regardless of context. And that makes this book valuable for all CEOs and aspiring CEOs.


If you are a CEO and you only have time to read one book this year (probably while in transit or while in the restroom) then make this the one - and act on the advice therein. It will either save your company or, in the best case, dramatically improve its future. Most small companies end up being rate-limited by the CEO; this book can help you out of that trap.

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Mike Morgenstein

5.0 out of 5 stars

Great Book on Hiring, Firing, And Making Tough Business Decisions

Reviewed in the United States on December 17, 2018

Verified Purchase

The author, Ben Horowitz, has a ton of experience and therefore a ton of wisdom.He has not only worked alongside successful leaders and entrepreneurs, but has established himself to be one as well. It was no easy ride; the trial and tribulations he has endured but overcome has played a big part in strengthening his wits and reserve in the toughest of business environments. How do you face it when your business is struggling and on it's last legs, and being the owner and leader you have to be open and forthcoming to your employees? How do you muster up the gall to demote or even fire somebody you consider a good friend or family? This text will answer those questions. Another review had mentioned that this book wouldn't be for the ordinary folk and rather for high level CEOs of public companies. I don't believe this is to be the truth because even though not all situations are created equal, internal misgivings and motivations are. I always say that even though the exact experiences of another individual might be different, reading and learning about it can do nothing less than broaden your scope.

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Tony Collins

5.0 out of 5 stars

The most Dog-Eared book in my library from a VC who seems genuine.

Reviewed in the United States on August 30, 2021

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The early chapters had me thinking - Please Quit! Your story is so painful that it hurts me to read it. And I thought that I had problems. But like Janis said - "Feelin' good was easy Lord when Bobby sang the blues " the stories were ultimately uplifting.

This book shares the inevitable problems that all of us who build companies face, but no one will discuss. It also provides great assurance and guidance though those struggles.

Easily the best advice on building a business I've read.

The only VC firm I ever thought it would make sense to work with.

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Amaz-enthusiast

5.0 out of 5 stars

Most insightful management book

Reviewed in the United States on December 20, 2018

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As Horowitz points out, most management books are written by management consultants. And most CEOs talk about their success in the rosiest of terms. This is the first really real book I've read on the topic of leadership. And, even though Horowitz's experience is in the technology sector, the book is totally relevant for anyone working in a competitive industry and trying to win against the odds.

"Hard things are hard because there are no easy answers or recipes. They are hard because your emotions are at odds with your logic. They are hard because you don't know the answer and you cannot ask for help without showing weakness."

The book is also very funny - sort of in an unintentional, "can you believe this actually happened" type of way. As a former founder who thought I'd experienced all the hardest and oddest problems, its cathartic to read about someone whose encountered much much harder challenges and nonetheless succeeded wildly.

A really enjoyable read!

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Ed Barton

TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE

5.0 out of 5 stars

Phenomenal Must Read

Reviewed in the United States on August 12, 2020

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A start up founder? Private equity CEO? Small business owner? Not for profit chief? You have to read this book. Addressing the “oh crap” moments that every leader deals with...and believes they’re the only one, the book takes the CEO imposter syndrome head on. You walk away with a sense of community, a sense of sanity and a sense of purpose. You’ll learn to cope and take the pragmatic steps necessary to see the mission through.

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Matthew

5.0 out of 5 stars

Relevant For Everyone

Reviewed in the United States on January 22, 2018

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Ben posits that the "hard thing about hard things" is that there really is no answer or formula, that you need to rely on the situation and your experience. An example given is that the difficult decision is not how to start a company, plenty has been written on this, the hard decision was deciding what to do when Ben had 3 weeks of cash and needed to meet for an IPO at the trough of the tech bubble and the night before getting a call that his wife was in the hospital and stopped breathing.


The book is refreshing as the terms and concepts are not dumbed down and rely on background in finance and tech. Throughout the book a number of situations are explained which provide fantastic advice for building relationships and dealing with others in undesirable situations.

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bb99

5.0 out of 5 stars

Great Read

Reviewed in the United States on March 26, 2014

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As an entrpreneur in the tech hardware space with 20 employees and never enough money and time and too much cheap and sometimes expensive advice this book really was encouraging. There are no guarantees in business as timing and other factors can have a lot of impact on your ability to execute, but the concept of "the struggle" left me feeling that i wasnt alone out there in dealing with my challenges. Sure they might be unique to my situation, but they are really all the same. Trying to make decisions without enough time. Having to make decisions and do things you dont like doing. Trying to understand what 6 months from now looks like in the crystal ball, wondering how the hell your going to make payroll again this month (i need to come up with 75 grand by end of month and im still not sure where ill get it, but i always do) and more is the struggle of anyone wanting to build something, big or small.


It also reminded me that i dont do this because it is easy. I do it because it is hard. Doing hard things, and sometimes failing at them, makes me happy in some messed up kind of way. Thanks for the story Ben.

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sherbert

5.0 out of 5 stars

One of the best Management Books around: for Angel investors, start-up managers et al.

Reviewed in the United States on February 18, 2019

Verified Purchase

As Andy Groves say, Ben Horowitz is one of the most insightful business authors in the business. Written by a {very} successful entrepreneur and VC for other entrepreneurs and investors in start-ups. This book is not a management How-To some of the reviews I've seen claim. But it IS one of the best management books ever written. Horowitz pedigree is amazing and not easily emulated: Silicon Graphics {in the exciting years or the emergence of high performance graphic workstations as seen in Jurassic Park}, AOL, Netscape, Loudcloud. Few of us are ever going to do what Horowitz has done; so read the book. Just do it!

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David Anderson

5.0 out of 5 stars

Life is Struggle

Reviewed in the United States on July 27, 2020

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The Karl Marx quote is a fitting summary of Ben Horowitz’s excellent book on managing companies and through good times and bad. There are many thoughtful ideas for new CEOs on how best to navigate hiring, internal conflicts, angry shareholders, difficult clients, etc. Ben learned the hard way to be able to share these quality pieces of advice. The book should be on every startup CEOs shelf.

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Kindle Customer

5.0 out of 5 stars

What you should do. Not what you could.

Reviewed in the United States on August 11, 2018

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I am founder and ceo of a bootstrap startup developing patient compliance automation. After 4 years it is still hard but the lessons are being learned . I worked at intel for 7 years and its notable a number of core ideas like time mgmt draw from intel culture. If you are not running a startup this book will seem theoretical like learning quarterbacking from tom brady but never being on the field. If you go out there you will get killed.

If you are a founder get yourself a mentor and get on the field and play. After a year or 2 go back and read this book. It is practical and dives into detail when needed. And he tells the story.

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Rich Tech

5.0 out of 5 stars

No BS, Just Wisdom from Someone Who's particularly Adept at Sharing It.

Reviewed in the United States on May 30, 2020

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You should read this book if you are in business. There are a bunch of business books out there but this is the most valuable single book I have read on the topic. Zero to One is great where this book is not - that is on high level strategy on what kind of thing to do to be most successful but this book is great where that one is not - on almost every other level about what to do in the various difficult positions you could find yourself in the actual implementation of your high level strategy.

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Jon Lawrence

5.0 out of 5 stars

Read to succeed

Reviewed in the United States on April 17, 2014

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As entrepreneurs, unless you've already been battle-scarred, there's often an expectation that things get easier as you scale. Ben's book is an awesomely pragmatic, and practical lesson in how the lessons you learn through different phases of your business don't necessarily get any easier.


What I appreciated most was that he doesn't just say "It's hard, you better nut up;" but he gives some actionable, concrete ways to help you address challenges head on. Especially if you read between the lines. He also mentions Andy Grove's "High Output Management" in passing; which should really be a signpost that screams "GO read it now if you haven't."


For many entrepreneurs who fall in love with an idea or a title, I highly recommend this book as way to acknowledge and fall in love with the process and the challenges of building and operating a business. If you can look these "hard things" in the eye in your own future and manage raise your hand and say "YES, I will take that on," this book provides a great touchstone for grounding yourself in the reality of building a real business.

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G. Ravishankar

5.0 out of 5 stars

Gripping startup war stories with a lot of wisdom shared

Reviewed in the United States on December 8, 2019

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I thoroughly enjoyed the book! Ben’s “war time CEO” experience at Loud Cloud and Opsware are both gripping and insightful. What makes this book more impactful is Ben’s generous advice on a variety of critical corporate issues - org design, how to give feedback, what makes a good product manager, and so on. Highly recommended!

PS: if you are a hip hop fan, you will enjoy this book even more. Listen to the audio version - the impact is more!

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Cliente de Kindle

5.0 out of 5 stars

You should read it

Reviewed in the United States on August 1, 2018

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The single best management book I've ever read. Most management books talk about big firms, idealized situations, and everything is sweetened and/or watered down. This book is useful when you're not in Kansas anymore... Here you will find suggestions for all the firm life cycle, from startup to huge, it focuses on problems and crises and how to avoid them, confront them, and overcome them once you get caught in them. Most importantly, it considers the complexities of humans with emotions, expectations and flaws standing in the middle af all the mess. In short: you must read it. Shortcomings: The end is a little abrupt, a summary in the end would have been great. Horowitz mostly speaks of his own experience as CEO, which is very enlightening, but he doesn't speak very much about lessons learnt from his VC portfolio, which is a pity.

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Raul A. Medina Nussbaum

5.0 out of 5 stars

Very good book, good insight

Reviewed in the United States on December 12, 2018

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You can tell when a book has been written by someone that was already "done that, been there" and this book is totally that. It provides insight into how things work in the real world, not what some webinar or coach "expert" will tell you.


If you are serious about being an entrepreneur or a CEO, you definitely want to read this book. Money well spent!

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Joshua R Orosco

5.0 out of 5 stars

Real about making good and hard time business decisions.

Reviewed in the United States on August 23, 2019

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This book has great angles on mindsets and the type of personalities towards making decisions for startups, scaling up, and behaviors to be aware of.


I really like the last 3 or 4 chapters at the end of the book and the appendix has good questions to ask when hiring staff. I also like the stories about decisions having real consequences.


What I didn't like about the book was the beginning being hard to read because I am not in that part of the business process. This is not a serious problem though.


From the United States


AJLee

5.0 out of 5 stars

You really can learn a lot from this honest book

Reviewed in the United States on October 2, 2017

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In this book, it really seems like Ben is sincere and honest about the difficult lessons he learned and the hard problems he faced. There are so many gems in this book, such as how to deal with demoting your loyal co-founder who has been hardworking and also a personal friend, and how to manage your own psychology when you’re a CEO. It’s also incredibly inspiring, as Ben encourages bravery and relates to The Struggles you go through as a founder. This book really feels different from a lot of the generic business books out there that always feel oversimplified and very cookie-cutter-ish.

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Samuel Mao

5.0 out of 5 stars

The Title of The Book Says It All

Reviewed in the United States on February 11, 2020

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I have to admit perhaps the first 80 pages weren't the most informative as the author is mainly talking about stories of leading his company. The rest of the pages are interesting because the author dived into the methodologies and the reasons for doing all the hard things. I give it a 5 star because the second half of the book deserves it.

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cb

5.0 out of 5 stars

One of the Two Best Books on Entrepreneurship

Reviewed in the United States on March 25, 2014

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I couldn't recommend this book more. Disciplined Entrepreneurship by Bill Aulet and now this are my two recommendations to aspiring entrepreneurs.


Ben takes a sober view of the whole business. The core of the book is the first three chapters in which Ben describes his career with particular details on the founding and management of LoudCloud, which became Opsware under his management. The rest of the book contains the lessons he has learned from the experience. Importantly, Ben not give prescriptions for issues. He makes the seemingly obvious observation that every situation is very different, and what works in one situation does not work in another. Rather than give blanket advice that will likely not apply. He spends a great amount of time explaining his thinking in each situation and how he advises people to approach their situation. The most important take away is then how to think about your individual problems. Truly excellent.


The Hard Thing About Hard Things is not a book glorifying the CEO role, talking only about the successes. If anything, the moments of glory are an afterthought of the thought process and persistence that got Ben through what he calls "The Struggle". ("The Struggle is when you are surrounded by people and you are all alone. The Struggle has no mercy...The Struggle is a cold sweat...The Struggle is not failure, but it causes failure. Especially if you are weak. Always if you are weak.) It reads very much like a war story and is all the better for it. Read it f you are serious about winning the battle.

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D. Crowell

5.0 out of 5 stars

Refreshing Read that tackles the reality of Tech start ups.

Reviewed in the United States on April 20, 2021

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Those who have done a start up will love the stories and recognize the wisdom.

Those who haven't will realize the hard work, grit, determination, and honesty required to be successful.

Horowitz is brutally honest and also honest about himself and others.

The book reads like a suspense novel. Then, provides useful hands on information that CEO's can actually use....

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stonyhill

5.0 out of 5 stars

An intimate conversation with a gamechanging entrepreneur.

Reviewed in the United States on June 14, 2016

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If you ever have a chance to have a deep, one-on-one conversation with a singular force like Ben Horowitz, drop everything to make it happen. But the remarkable thing about this remarkable book (see what I did there?) is that for each reader, Ben makes makes you feel like you're having a one-on-one conversation, with insights into the personal struggle required for greatness. Most of us won't ever have the chance to have that one-on-one conversation, much less a mentorship with someone like Ben. This book is the next best thing.

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David Hodge

5.0 out of 5 stars

The Most Straight Shooting Business Book I've Read

Reviewed in the United States on June 13, 2016

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This book is fire. It's not about how to do things write. It's about what to do when things go wrong. And of course, in the words of Horowitz himself, "things always go wrong". I think my favorite takeaway from the book is when Horowitz talks about The Struggle. The Struggle on the path to greatness that every entrepreneur encounters. The quote from the book that echoes through my head again and again is: "The Struggle is not failure. But it can cause failure. Especially if you are weak. Always if you are weak." Horowitz wastes no time being very upfront about what it takes to win in a competitive entrepreneurial environment.


I highly recommend this book.

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Alessandro Piovaccari

5.0 out of 5 stars

A must have in the reading list of every manager in a technology company.

Reviewed in the United States on August 11, 2017

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I did read this book for the second time and I keep finding it fantastic. Very well written and deeply honest, it can be read either front-to-back or be used as a manual of indepe, discarding anything that the reader do not want to apply or disagree with. A must have in the reading list of every serious manager in a technology company

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ranjan

5.0 out of 5 stars

excellent book for all managers, particularly c-level executives.

Reviewed in the United States on September 21, 2017

Verified Purchase

Engaging stories and content.

Well structured.

Full of real examples and decision making process surrounding tough decisions, followed by general concepts that can be adopted in specific scenarios. recommendations include what scenarios not to apply the decision making process or suggestions which is equally valuable.

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Dmitry Kaigorodov

5.0 out of 5 stars

Must read even if you just consider to be involved ...

Reviewed in the United States on June 12, 2017

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Must read even if you just consider to be involved in any startup activity. Will help you to understand what you are about to signup. :)

I saw some who dismiss the book because it does not cause respect to the author. Well, the truth is hard. And I respect Ben even more with naked truth about himself.

A book is a collection of extreme stories, ugly problems and ugly solutions, that allowed company to go forward.

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jrt

5.0 out of 5 stars

Great Book.

Reviewed in the United States on February 25, 2015

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Great Book... I've been a startup CEO and involved as board member for over 14 startups and Ben captures better than any other book I've read about the forces a startup CEO has to go through. The isolation of "Peace time" vs. "War time" CEO is classic. Jack Welch once commented that he had more respect for small company CEO's than big. He said "I could make bad decisions at GE for 10 years and there'd still be a GE, one bad decision by a small company CEO and you might be dead". Ben articulates these decisions from running out of money, hiring/firing people, to culture and exogenous events. Startup companies (tech in particular) are not "small big companies" despite how they're often portrayed. Highly recommended read for 1st to 10th timer startup CEO's and executive teams.

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Ahmed Lahlou

5.0 out of 5 stars

A gold mine of information for CEOs

Reviewed in the United States on May 7, 2019

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Never have I read a business book so authentically written. It all comes from the heart of a former startup Founder and CEO who went through years of struggle to finally succeed and sell his company.


We can’t help but feel a great deal of empathy and connection with Ben who opens up about his fears, doubts, challenges and shortcomings running his former company from 0 to a whooping 1.6 billion dollar valuation.


Ben shares surgical advice based on extensive experience. A true guidebook for entrepreneurs running growing organizations or even for actual CEOs of large companies. Chapeau bas!

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Erdogan Cesmeli

5.0 out of 5 stars

We need the same book written in every walk of life

Reviewed in the United States on July 11, 2020

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Ben does not need my endorsement but I owe it to him for his efforts & honesty and to the future readers for their conviction to read the book. It will be in my bookshelf for the rest of my life. And yes, it will be so not only for its direct application into my GM role(s) but also into my parenthood to my kids and my mentorship to the startups I am fortunate to work with.

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Viewer24601

5.0 out of 5 stars

MUST READ FOR ENTREPRENEURS AND STARTUP FOUNDERS

Reviewed in the United States on January 5, 2020

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I REALLY LIKED THIS BOOK. A must read for those that are want to start their own company. Ben Horowitz does a great job of talking about what goes down in startups and the difficult decisions (the hard things) CEO and management make. Skip the MBA just read this lol. Definitely would have helped knowing alot of this stuff before started working at a startup. This is also great for startup employees.


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Christian O Paro

5.0 out of 5 stars

A business book for surviving the rough patches

Reviewed in the United States on April 27, 2014

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I picked this up out of curiosity when the startup I work with became part of a16z's portfolio.


...and am glad I did.


As is discussed in the book itself, there has been much written about how to build and manage a successful company - but good advice for bad times isn't so easy to come by. For one thing, authors naturally look at success stories as their models for running a business. For another, it's easier to read and think about the best practices for managing a growing company in a time of peace than it is to walk through what you would have to do to keep that same company alive and healthy in the wake of an industry-wide shakeout like the dot-com bust.


At the same time, this book is personal. It's human. It touches on the emotional side of making and executing hard decisions (particularly those pertaining to layoffs, firings, and demotions) that gets glossed over in more academic treatments of management. Horowitz's view of all this was from the trenches, not the ivory tower, and he neither pretends that these decisions never have to be made, nor that they affect "resources" rather than human beings.


If you had to pick just one book on business, I'd say Drucker's classic "The Practice of Management" should be it.


But, since we don't have to make such silly choices, it's good to round out that perspective. And "The Hard Thing About Hard Things" certainly fills a spot that the many other great books on business tend to shy away from.

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Amazon Customer

5.0 out of 5 stars

One of the best book about entrepreneurship

Reviewed in the United States on August 26, 2014

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Probably, one of the best book about entrepreneurship which I have read. No theory, only hard things about decisions which founder of the company should make everyday. Some of the best quotes:


" “Do you know the best thing about startups? You only ever experience two emotions: euphoria and terror. And I find that lack of sleep enhances them both.”


IF YOU ARE GOING TO EAT SHIT, DON’T NIBBLE


“What’s the secret to being a successful CEO?” Sadly, there is no secret, but if there is one skill that stands out, it’s the ability to focus and make the best move when there are no good moves. It’s the moments where you feel most like hiding or dying that you can make the biggest difference as a CEO."


"Great CEOs face the pain. They deal with the sleepless nights, the cold sweats, and “the torture.” Whenever I meet a successful CEO, I ask them how they did it. Mediocre CEOs point to their brilliant strategic moves or their intuitive business sense or a variety of other self-congratulatory explanations. The great CEOs tend to be remarkably consistent in their answers. They all say, “I didn’t quit.”"

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Amazon Customer

5.0 out of 5 stars

fabulous read

Reviewed in the United States on October 22, 2020

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From Leadership to designing an organizational structure, Ben Horowitz’s Hard things about hard things offers a pragmatic, enjoyable handbook to starting and driving a company, tech or not, through ‘peacetime’ and, for a start-up, the more relevant ‘wartime.’ This tight textbook is not a puff-piece written to extol the expertise of its author, rather it is a genuine benefit to the budding, and experienced entrepreneur.

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hdk

5.0 out of 5 stars

If you only buy a few business/management books, buy this one.

Reviewed in the United States on May 25, 2014

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Ben - - There are only a very business books that I would ever recommend to someone else, but this is absolutely one of those. Some really very excellent insights on leadership and practical tools for any CEO/senior executive. The only thing I really did not like at all was the awkward "gender pandering" that I will attribute to poor advice from the book's editor. There's no easy answer I know but to juxtapose the "he and she" so as not to appear discriminatory detracts from the flow of the reading and is frankly annoying. Better to just use title (e.g., "CEO or Head of Sales") or "executive" or "employee," or simply say at the outset that the use of "he" or "she" consistently throughout is done on purpose. But the book was excellent notwithstanding.


Harold Kahn

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Magnus Lind

5.0 out of 5 stars

A no-brainer: Read this book

Reviewed in the United States on September 4, 2016

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The only thing I didn't like about this book: It should have been written 20 years ago when I started my entrepreneurial journey. If you are running or plan to start your business: Read the book, I said: read the book! "As an entrepreneur I was sleeping like a baby; I woke up every second hour screaming." This book should definitely also be read by people (regulators and politicians for instance) that create the rule book for entrepreneurs and innovation. It will give you perspectives and insight no doubt. Building a great society means that we all need to better understand each others perspectives.

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Hema Padhu

5.0 out of 5 stars

Must read for founders, entrepreneurs and leaders @ startups

Reviewed in the United States on December 1, 2015

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One of the best books you can read about being an entrepreneur, starting your own business or working for a startup. Ben doesn't sugar coat it and that's the best thing about the book. His startup has been through trials and survived some of the worst crisis. Most startups simply won't make it. He gives thoughtful advice for any CEO, founder or member of a leadership team on how to hire talent, manage culture, navigate crisis with grace and how to inspire people during tough times. If there's only one business book you read this year, make it this one.

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Megan Mullin

5.0 out of 5 stars

Horowitz speaks from experience, which many and most "how-to" ...

Reviewed in the United States on December 3, 2017

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Horowitz speaks from experience, which many and most "how-to" management books miss. In doing so, the book is devoid from the optimistic biases that other "how-tos" usually preach. It speaks of real moments of intense adversity. You will not find this elsewhere. Ten words from Horowitz's authentic, experience-driven insight is worth a thousand words from a consultant's retroactive research.

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Jeremey Donovan

5.0 out of 5 stars

Embrace the struggle - Book Highlights

Reviewed in the United States on May 16, 2015

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- “There is no recipe for really complicated, dynamic situations.”

- “… the most important rule of raising money privately: Look for a market of one.”

- “… whenever a large organization attempts to do anything, it always comes down to a single person who can delay the entire project.”

- “In my weekly staff meeting, I inserted an agenda item titled ‘What are we not doing?’”

- “Early in my career as an engineer, I’d learned that all decision were objective until the first line of code was written. After that, all decision were emotional.”

- “CEOs should tell it like it is.”

- “A healthy company culture encourages people to share bad news.”

- Hire for strengths rather than for lack of weakness.

- “There is no such thing as a great CEO, a great head of marketing, or a great head of sales. There is only a great head of sales for your company for the next twelve to twenty-four months.”

- “Take care of the people, the products, and the profits – in that order… Taking care of the people means that your company is a good place to work… In good organizations, people can focus on their work and have confidence that if they get their work done, good things will happen for both the company and them personally.”

- “Most managers seem to feel that training employees is a job that should be left to others. I, on the other hand, strongly believe that the manager should do it himself.”

- “Take your best people and encourage them to share their most developed skills.”

- Good product managers know (a) the market, (b) the product, (c) the competition, (d) the target outcome, (e) how to communicate verbally and in writing to engineering, (f) how to give information formally and get information informally, (g) customers, (h) revenue, (i) send weekly status reports, (j) respect the press and ask them great questions.

- “Look for candidates who come in with more new initiatives than you think are possible.”

- “A high quality human resources organization cannot make you a well-managed company with a great culture, but it can tell you when you and your managers are not getting the job done.”

- “Political behavior almost always starts with the CEO. Apolitical CEOs frequently – and accidentally – encourage intense political behavior.”

- “The right kind of ambition is ambition for the company’s success with the executive’s own success only coming as a by-product of the company’s victory.”

- “Build strict processes for potentially political issues… including: performance evaluation and compensation, organization design and territory, promotions.”

“While I’ve seen executives improve their performance and skill sets, I’ve never seen one lose the support of the organization and then regain it.”

- “The proper reason to hire a senior person is to acquire knowledge and experience in a specific area.”

- “Absent a well-designed communication architecture, information and ideas will stagnate, and your company will degenerate into a bad place to work.”

- “Perks are good, but they are not culture.”

- “The first rule of organization design is that all organizational designs are bad.” “You want to optimize the organization for the people… not the managers.”

- “… assume that people have good intentions unless they prove otherwise.”

- “the most important lesson in entrepreneurship: Embrace the struggle.”

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Tim Udinski

5.0 out of 5 stars

What a great book.

Reviewed in the United States on May 23, 2014

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Ben Horowitz has put together a book about overcoming failure, believing in yourself, learning from others, and believing in yourself, your vision and the people around you, and how putting all of those things together can help you build a successful business and a successful life. This isn't your normal "rah rah" business book. This is a real life story of how much it sucks when your great idea goes South and you have to dig in and go through the struggles that it takes to succeed. This is an awesome book for any aspiring entrepreneur and also anyone who just wants to get smarter and help their company grow and help themselves become a better person.

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Amazon Customer

5.0 out of 5 stars

Great read for CEOs and entrepreneurs alike

Reviewed in the United States on February 16, 2020

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Great book, and while I’m not technically the CEO of my organization I felt that many of Ben’s insights are applicable to entrepreneurs, executives and executive directors. His writing was easy to read, personabl