The Hard Thing About Hard Things - Review
Ben Horowitz is a businessman who has served as a successful CEO and venture capitalist. His book, The Hard Thing About Hard Things, takes a look at the dirty underbelly entrepreneurship. His work describes how to manage a staff, a project, or a team when things go wrong... and they always go wrong. Horowitz takes inspiration from his non-conformist parents, hip hop artists, and a relentless drive to succeed. Each chapter takes a hard and honest look at the hard things facing chief executive officers in today's cut throat economy. This book is conversational and doesn't bother with a particular scope or sequence. Horowitz speaks from the heart and employs a modus operandi that wants to tell it like he sees it in all things. He argues for his battle plans like a front line soldier, entrenched in war, and holds the views of far of strategists as idealistic and naive. The first part of the book is dedicated to the rise of Ben as master of all things and as prophet of profit. The following partitions contain anecdotal insight and a plethora of hard won street smarts.
Ben paints himself as a master of all things management.
I would not recommend reading this book. In fact, it is one of the least favorite books I have ever read. Ben Horowitz's attitude is self glorifying and lacks a modicum of modesty. He paints himself as the hero of the narrative and the moral to which his audience should aspire. His tone is arrogant, misogynistic, and self gratifying; sliced bread has nothing on this guy. I was amazed at his approach toward management where everything, and everyone, was a resource to control. Horowitz's humanistic view of business values results over all else. I understand that it is hard to argue with his results. In the corporate world he is a smashing success so his process must be of some value. Unfortunately, Horowitz does a poor job describing the values that shaped his culture of success. He is too caught up in his own self and lacks the ability to extrapolate meaning from his own story.