The Hard Thing About Hard Things
Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers
The biggest value of this book is that it is written by a technical CEO at a venture start-up at the onset of the age of the Internet. His experience matters a lot because as an early pioneer of the Internet startups, he co-founded LoudCloud, which developed the early web browser Mosiac, ran into the dot-com bubble burst, remarkably stepped out of the crisis, went public as a final solution to keep LoudCloud survive, sold it anyway at the end and turned the whole team of the world-class employees 360 degrees to build Opsware. He is now a venture capitalist and considers himself as a wartime CEO. Ben’s career is briefly encapsulated in the first part of the book
In the following chapters, self-claiming as a wartime CEO, Ben analyzes dilemmas a wartime CEO faces every day. Well..all CEO suffers intolerable levels of mental hardships which is not a rare story. However, I like the fact that he does not generalize his advice to all CEOs. He explains the differences between peacetime CEOs (top businesses on the market) and wartime CEOs (start-ups), why Facebook CFO is likely to fail to be a CFO of a startup, why promoting a COO to be a CFO might corrupt the whole system, how to pick up the right executive at a particular time, etc. This book is typical writing of realism where the smallest details matter, everybody should understand the dynamic shape of business shaped by myriad factors.
Frankly, the knowledge and advice in this book do not benefit me much in the short run. However, I feel satisfied to know there is a good book I can refer to when I need later.
April 23, 2020, 3:00:00 PM
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