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

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

  Author(s): Ben Horowitz
Publisher: Harper Business, Year: 2014

Ben Horowitz, the co-founder of Andreessen Horowitz and one of the most admired and successful founders in Silicon Valley, gives critical guidance on creating and operating a company - realistic insight for solving the hardest business school issues does not cover, based on his famous ben blog.

While many people are talking about how great starting a business is, very few are honest about how hard it is to run one. Ben Horowitz analyzes the problems faced daily by leaders, sharing insights he has gained from developing, managing, selling, buying, investing in, and overseeing technology companies. A lifelong rap fanatic, he amplifies business lessons from his favorite songs with lyrics, telling it straight about everything from firing friends to poaching competitors, cultivating and sustaining a CEO mentality to knowing the right time to cash in on.

The Hard Thing About Hard Stuff is indispensable for seasoned businessmen as well as those who strive to their own creative projects, building on Horowitz 's unique and sometimes humbling insights, packed with his signature charm and straight talk.
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Book Review:

From numerous conversations with great entrepreneurs on my podcast Growth Mindset Podcast the Hard Thing About Hard Things was the most recommended book to me. It's to the point now where I add 'other than the simple Tough Thing About Issues' as I inquire for a book review for business advice.

Why are they so good? Most business books concentrate on how to do things properly, while Ben acknowledges that there is no such thing as a perfect business up front, and no matter how much preparation you do, screw-ups will inevitably happen. He discusses all the big mess-ups that took place during his time leading companies with billions of dollars and how his team made choices to turn things around or screw things up.

He describes the most important choices he had to make, and the horrible circumstances in which you find yourself. They tell entrepreneurship is about insane heights and horrible lows and this book paints the full ugly picture of what living in the overwhelming face of disaster is like. It's invaluable to have a true understanding of what you can face as an entrepreneur, which I believe makes this book a favorite.

Lessons from CEO
Peacetime vs. The CEO of Wartime
CEOs of Peacetime-considers long-term and is a rational citizen
Examples: designers of strategic community, follow guidelines, set priorities, prepare back up and reduce tension

Wartime CEO — concerned with the imminent need, and couldn't give anyone a darn
Examples: let the condition determine the society, break all the rules, don't have time to read books on priorities, don't have a contingency strategy and fight with someone who gets in the way of the program.
No recipes for success or Silver bullets for problem solving.
There is no blueprint for running a company, for inspiring a team when things fall apart. Seek the right ones, just don't give up

Keep your mind open-join the war
'Life is challenge' — That's where your job is most important and you will make the most impact in the times you feel like running and dying in.
If you have 1 in 10,000 chances of success statistically your job is the same, so make and execute a strategy.
Warrior's Way: Bear in mind death at all times. Live every day like it may be your last, and behave appropriately with all of your acts.

Tell it the way it is
To be too optimistic you may feel undue pressure. Stand up to the pressures, face your fear and say stuff as it is. Breed a culture of trust, and get people to work on problems rather than cover them up.
A healthy business has a culture of sharing bad news, and freely discusses and solves its problems.

The worst case situation is rephrased
This is not that effective trying to imagine the worst possible scenario. Lay-off all, steal money from your customers, risk your house (and your parents if they've invested), fail clients and destroy your reputation ....
Ask 'What would you do if we went bankrupt?' instead. This can be a source of new ideas and critical capacity. In the case of Ben, the solution was to start a new software company using an existing program that they'd developed. Then ask yourself if without going bankrupt, you would do this?

Young people slow down big institutions
If a big corporation wants to do something, a single employee will hinder the entire process.
A boss may believe they have no right to make a decision or purchase, and an engineer might get trapped. Less hesitations can result in fatal delays. Make sure you remove all roadblocks and a decision must be made within 24 hours if anyone gets stuck on anything.
Caring about individuals, goods and profits (in this order)
Definitely important. If you don't put the other two people first it doesn't matter.

Enjoy the job
Having it a joy to work for the company means people know they can work effectively and efficiently to make a difference with their jobs. Having a good business, when things are going well, is not necessary. But still the things go wrong. So the distinction between life and death may be to be a good business.

Face the tough choices head on
Fast make the hard decisions, and don't put them off. Before it accumulates debt, good CEOs take up the hard answer to organizational issues. Z.B. They cut it today, given the choice to cut a popular project that is not in the long-term plan or to keep it for moral reasons.

There is no flawless person or employee, recruiting for lack of vulnerability and ability to overcome their shortcomings instead of recruiting for strengths alone.
There are several explanations for sticking with a organization while things are going well —
Your profession is rising as the business expands, enticing positions are inevitably opening up
Your friends and family will be impressed. Your friends and family will think you are a genius to choose to work at the company "it"
Your career is gaining momentum from serving in its heyday at a blue-chip company.
Yeah, and it makes you rich.
If things go badly, though, all of these excuses evaporate and become reasons to leave. In reality, the only thing that keeps an employee in an organization when things go horribly wrong — other than needing a job — is that despite the hardships she loves her job.
So the book tells you when expanding your squad on that topic, consider:
Hire for strength and not lack of weakness

Have clear expectations of who you're hiring with a realization that every employee in your company (including you) has something seriously wrong. No one is completely fine.
Multiple people are involved in brainstorming but make the final decision solo. Consensus-based decisions seek to separate the cycle from strength to weakness.
Minimize Regulation
Since important work on an enterprise scale can go unnoticed, this should not be accepted. Managers and leaders should take credit for hard work, and procedural procedures should disrupt innovation and sap the organizational happiness.

Principles critical for managing:
Pay with the best kind of desire. They will trust in the business and want it to prosper (and therefore themselves as a by-product) and not be a winner for themselves first
Maintain strict organizational design policies and processes, performance appraisals, promotions, and benefits. Importantly — Do not overcompensate an employee as they are getting a better job offer.
Promote experienced workers by assessing results against targets, organizational skills , creativity, and their ability to collaborate together with others.

Keep up regular performance management and employee reviews with a strong one-on-one program of interactions with staff and managers. They are an important forum for staff to explore innovative ideas, urgent problems, and persistent concerns with their unheard.

Pierre Theory
Leaders are placed in a Hierarchy while competently employed. They are finally elevated to a role where they are no longer capable int (their 'level of incompetence'). They can not gain any further advancement and stay in a position they are not successful at.
Don't get into 'Peter's Idea! (Hopefully following the aforementioned suggestions and being aware of the theory would help to prevent this ...)

The novel follows his story as it unfolded, leaving you with a real understanding of how to handle issues. They say how many challenging talks you 're able to have determine your performance, and this book gives you the insight to know the circumstances you need to step up and some of the resources to do so.

Just reading the bullet points from a summary is not the same as reading the whole story, and if you really want the lessons written above to be embedded in your approach, then it's worth your time reading it. Enjoy the book, and welcome the battle to be good.

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