The Hard Thing About Hard Things Book Summary - The Hard Thing About Hard Things Book explained in key points
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The Hard Thing About Hard Things summary

Ben Horowitz

Building A Business When There Are No Easy Answers

4.3 (492 ratings)
28 mins

Brief summary

"The Hard Thing About Hard Things" by Ben Horowitz is a guide for entrepreneurs and leaders that offers practical advice on managing difficult situations in business, including laying off employees, handling investor relationships, and making tough decisions.

Table of Contents

    The Hard Thing About Hard Things
    Summary of 13 key ideas

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    Key idea 1 of 13

    Every CEO must deal with the pressures and responsibilities that come with running a company.

    Everyone who founds a company or runs one as the CEO has dreams. Usually these dreams revolve around building something beautiful and world-changing while having fun and making a lot of money.

    Unfortunately, no company progresses smoothly along this path, as crises are an inevitable part of building a business; there are simply too many variables and things to go wrong for smooth sailing.

    For example, every company is somewhat at the mercy of “macro” issues like financial crises and collapses which can scare away investors, as well as smaller “micro” issues such as making a wrong hiring decision or having your best customer go bankrupt.

    This is where all CEOs meet The Struggle, which occurs when dreams of success meet reality.

    The Struggle is an inevitable part of being in charge of a company, and it consists of the stress and the impossible decisions that come with the territory. The stress and weight of The Struggle will probably affect the CEO’s entire life, from her mental and physical well-being to her career choices and social relationships.

    All this makes The Struggle extremely draining, but it is also where greatness arises. Ultimately, the CEO is responsible for negotiating the challenges the company faces, and thus it is she who will get credit for the company’s successes or be fired for its failures.

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    Key ideas in The Hard Thing About Hard Things

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    What is The Hard Thing About Hard Things about?

    These blinks explain why the job of a CEO is among the toughest and loneliest in the world, and how you can survive all the stress and heartache involved.

    The Hard Thing About Hard Things Review

    The Hard Thing About Hard Things (2014) by Ben Horowitz is a captivating account of the challenges faced by entrepreneurs in building and leading companies. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • With real-life anecdotes and practical advice, it provides valuable insights into the complex realities of running a business, making it relatable and useful.
    • Through honest storytelling and personal experiences, it offers a raw and unvarnished look at the tough decisions and difficult situations leaders encounter.
    • By addressing the uncomfortable truths and unique challenges of entrepreneurship, it provides a refreshingly honest perspective and keeps readers engaged from start to finish.

    Who should read The Hard Thing About Hard Things?

    • Present or future CEOs and founders
    • Anyone who wants to understand how businesses are run successfully
    • Anyone who is ever in a position where they have to hire or fire someone

    About the Author

    Ben Horowitz is a founding partner at venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. Previously, he was a co-founder and CEO at the IT company Opsware, which he eventually sold to Hewlett-Packard in 2007 for $1.6 billion. His blog has over 10 million readers.

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    The Hard Thing About Hard Things FAQs 

    What is the main message of The Hard Thing About Hard Things?

    The main message of The Hard Thing About Hard Things is that entrepreneurship is challenging, but perseverance and resilience are key to success.

    How long does it take to read The Hard Thing About Hard Things?

    The reading time for The Hard Thing About Hard Things varies depending on the reader's speed. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is The Hard Thing About Hard Things a good book? Is it worth reading?

    The Hard Thing About Hard Things is a worthwhile read for entrepreneurs and business leaders. It provides valuable insights and practical advice for navigating difficult challenges.

    Who is the author of The Hard Thing About Hard Things?

    The author of The Hard Thing About Hard Things is Ben Horowitz.

    What to read after The Hard Thing About Hard Things?

    If you're wondering what to read next after The Hard Thing About Hard Things, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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    • High Output Management by Andrew S. Grove
    • Only the Paranoid Survive by Andrew S. Grove
    • Merchants of Doubt by Naomi Oreskes & Erik M. Conway
    • The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber
    • Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl