Summary of The Hard Thing About Hard Things

Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers

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The Hard Thing About Hard Things book summary
Instructive tales from a tech survivor: A Silicon Valley entrepreneur tells what he learned the hard way.


7 Overall

8 Applicability

7 Innovation

7 Style


Ben Horowitz guided Loudcloud through life-or-death struggles before selling it to Hewlett-Packard for $1.65 billion. He argues that no formula can promise entrepreneurial success. Horowitz is a first-rate storyteller and a refreshingly irreverent teacher who uses allusions ranging from Jay Z to Clint Eastwood to Dr. Seuss. Any business leader will find worthy guidance in this exhortation to persist through “the Struggle.” getAbstract recommends Horowitz’s part autobiography, part tip sheet to anyone building a company.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What Loudcloud’s struggles reveal about running a start-up
  • Why it is important to put your people before products or profits
  • What qualities a leader needs
  • When you should consider selling your company


Loudcloud, Opsware and “the Struggle”
Every start-up encounters the Struggle. Your product turns out to have costly flaws. Your cash runs low, and your venture capitalist tells you fund raising seems unlikely. A loyal customer leaves you. A valuable employee walks away.

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About the Author

Ben Horowitz is a co-founder and general partner of Silicon Valley venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.

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    Jacki Li 6 months ago
    It doesn't worth the appraises.

    It's just an example of Halo Effect:
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    Peter Henry 2 years ago
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    John Price 2 years ago
    This was one of the greatest books ever written for a high tech CEO. This summary certainly does not do it justice.
    • Avatar
      Annette Mason 1 year ago
      Agree it is a great book and this summary does not include some best lessons learned of the peaks and valleys of Mergers and Acquisitions especially the story illustrating the CEO responsibility with the IPO and closing price of Baidu on Day 1.

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