Ben Horowitz Hard things about hard things
Andreeson Horowitz is Silicon Valleys leading venture capital firm. Their portfolio itself is worth a flick through at:
It’s incredible how many of the tech startup success stories they have been involved in. Ben Horowitz is one of the cofounders and in his book the Hard things about hard things he talks about his time before he started the VC firm. He was CEO of Soundcloud/Opsware and describes himself as a “wartime CEO” in that he had a pretty rough ride towards an eventual $1.6B sellout to HP.
The book talks a lot about management and what it takes to be a CEO. There are some valuable insights into the world of enterprise software companies and their challenges.
Some key takeaways:
Ben recommends not being overly positive. Don’t paint a rosey picture for your employees or shareholders if the truth is far from that. There is a natural inclination for people to try and put a positive spin on things which doesn’t help matters.
CEO’s make hundreds of decisions a week and these shape the future of the company more than the decisions of any other employee. Making the right decision often is counter-intuitive especially if others see things differently.
Take care of people, products, profits… in that order.