I recently finished reading The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers
by entrepreneur, turned venture capitalist, Ben Horowitz. I was inspired to read it having seen many of the reviews from well respected industry thought leaders such as Brad Feld.
go get it right now. It’s one of the best books you’ll ever read on entrepreneurship and being a CEO.
If you are a CEO, read this book.
If you aspire to be a CEO read this book.
If you are on a management team and want to understand what a CEO goes through, read this book.
If you are interested in entrepreneurship and want to understand it better, read this book.
It was one of those books that I found extremely easy to read, yet difficult to digest. What I mean by that, is that so many of the lessons and stories from Ben were fascinatingly thought-provoking. The lessons were either easy to resonate with if the ‘hard thing’ was something that I had already experienced, but if the ‘hard thing’ was yet to be faced, in the near or long term future, then it instilled a certain level of fear; especially if the ‘hard thing’ was seemingly inevitable.
Ben talks about ‘the struggle‘ that entrepreneurs go through during the lifetime of their company and all the challenges that they face from a very real perspective; not in the format of the typical theory filled management book.
Both Lauren (my co-founder) and I have been reading the book separately and this has brought about an unintentional, but very valuable benefit. It caused us to have conversations about the company, the culture and all the ‘hard things’ that we’re already facing or are likely to face in the future. These are conversations we are otherwise unlikely to have ever had until it was arguably too late. It has fuelled us with ideas, beliefs and direction on how we want to tackle various situations in many areas of the business.
In short, reading the book has helped re-align my (and our) thinking.
It’s a book I would recommend to any founder, without hesitation, and whilst some of the problems might be a distant vision in the future (such as worrying about the share price of your publicly traded company) it’s a fascinating read none the less.
It’s certainly helped me to continue to embrace ‘the struggle’.