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The Hard Thing About Hard Things Audiobook

The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers

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Publisher's Summary

Ben Horowitz, cofounder of Andreessen Horowitz and one of Silicon Valley’s most respected and experienced entrepreneurs, offers essential advice on building and running a startup - practical wisdom for managing the toughest problems business school doesn’t cover, based on his popular ben’s blog.

While many people talk about how great it is to start a business, very few are honest about how difficult it is to run one. Ben Horowitz analyzes the problems that confront leaders every day, sharing the insights he’s gained developing, managing, selling, buying, investing in, and supervising technology companies. A lifelong rap fanatic, he amplifies business lessons with lyrics from his favorite songs, telling it straight about everything from firing friends to poaching competitors, cultivating and sustaining a CEO mentality to knowing the right time to cash in.

Filled with his trademark humor and straight talk, The Hard Thing About Hard Things is invaluable for veteran entrepreneurs as well as those aspiring to their own new ventures, drawing from Horowitz’s personal and often humbling experiences.

©2014 Ben Horowitz (P)2014 HarperCollins Publishers

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (6116 )
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4.5 (5215 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Jimmy Powell, OH, United States 07-28-14
    Jimmy Powell, OH, United States 07-28-14 Member Since 2017

    I am a young-executive with a voracious appetite for great stories. I read and listen constantly, and am very proud of my book collection.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Based in Reality--Not New Age Hocus Pocus:"

    Mr. Horowitz masterfully delivers the truth and insight of those long and sleepless nights of trying to think your way through the chaos of a startup.

    This book is not the work of a man gloating of his success and using the lens of hindsight to casually relay a few helpful hints. Rather this is an in depth and insightful guide to successfully navigating the major "fork in the road" types decisions that have the potential to define your outcomes.

    This is money well spent! It does matter if you are a running the world's largest startup right now or just opened a one person carwash this book will help you. It is lively and entertaining, yet full of helpful information all clearly learned by Mr. Horowitz at the height of entrepreneurial battle.

    7 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Evanston, IL, USA 04-22-14
    Mark Evanston, IL, USA 04-22-14
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    "Not relevant to small businesses"
    What would have made The Hard Thing About Hard Things better?

    Too focused on running large companies and not relevant to small business owners


    What was most disappointing about Ben Horowitz’s story?


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Yes


    What character would you cut from The Hard Thing About Hard Things?


    Any additional comments?

    11 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cliff RED BANK, NJ, United States 04-21-14
    Cliff RED BANK, NJ, United States 04-21-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Tough to listen to, but interesting at times"

    The voice of the narrator in no way sounds like, or gives an impression of Horowitz. The constant us of "she" when referring to a universal or fictitious CEO or manager is odd, since when he mentions real people, they're all men, ie; Andy Grove, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs.

    The use of hip hop quotes was childish, and does not project an image of wisdom I need from a successful person. Why not quote Sponge Bob Square Pants while you're at it? I kept wondering how many rappers Horowitz was quoting while negotiating with HP.

    Once I got past the amateurish nature of the delivery of the book, there were some good stories and advice. The author did seem to brag a bit about how smart he was, perhaps listening to all that hip hop influenced his delivery.

    If you get the impression I'm not a big fan of hip hop, you'd be correct. But I'm not impressed by authors or speakers quoting any pop culture references like music or TV. It's lazy, and shows they don't read or revere serious thinkers or those who strive to advance or society. While some entertainers do contribute, they're not at the top of the list of those we can learn the most from.

    28 of 43 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gregory 05-14-14
    Gregory 05-14-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Couldn't take listening to narrator"
    What would have made The Hard Thing About Hard Things better?

    I couldn't take listening to the narrator. I thought it was an awful choice for this book. Crazy how much the narrator's voice can influence whether I like a book...but it does.


    26 of 40 people found this review helpful
  •  
    wwen726 12-24-15
    wwen726 12-24-15
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    "Amazing, Insightful Tactical Advice"

    - Love how real this book gets (not just about the ups of running a start--really sheds light on the downs)
    - Love the tactical advice (Horowitz is very specific about his management tactics and advice, and his opinion is very wise
    - Love the humor (really quick read, very funny, Horowitz has a wry sense of humor that leaves me laughing out loud at parts)
    - Love that he uses the female universal pronoun "every CEO should tell HER staff..."

    overall I learned lot about what to do and not to do when running a company (through all its ups and downs) from this book. I plan on reading it again soon when my startup gets bigger.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Todd 04-29-14
    Todd 04-29-14
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    "Falls Short"
    What would have made The Hard Thing About Hard Things better?

    Just wasn't that interesting. I think that it would have been much more beneficial if he focused on financing for start-ups and growing ventures. Going more into depth on VCs, the process, best practices, ways we can learn as potential entrepreneurs, etc.


    5 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sebastian Perez Saaibi 07-18-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Entrepreneurship is Hard, period."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Sure. Anyone who is delusional about all the positive things about entrepreneurship should read, or better, listen to this book.


    What did you like best about this story?

    No bulls***. Facts and worries of a founder trying to grow a massive internet business.


    Have you listened to any of Kevin Kenerly’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Not really. But it read it while walking to work; it made me ponder on many aspects of my own company


    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hugo de Bruin 09-23-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Not worth it"

    If you want to hear how cool and successful Horowitz thinks he is: this is your book! For everyone else: don't bother! Up to chapter 3 no insights or stories that exceed the level of a bar conversation

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kindle Customer 09-20-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Decent content if you can ignore all the f-bombs."

    I found the content to be generally informational and somewhat motivating although there were several times when I thought about not even finishing the book because of all the filthy language. I'm not sure why some of these business authors think they have to clutter their book with pervasive filthy language. the author argues that use of the F-bomb is necessary to make an impactful point and shows plenty of examples throughout the book. I can personally do without it. To me it represents a lack of ability to express oneself clearly. Not sure I could recommend this book because of it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nadeem 09-19-17
    Nadeem 09-19-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I'm going to listen to this one a thousand times."

    You should listen to it at least once, and once more if you're serious about startups.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Simon
    11/1/16
    Overall
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    "best management book I've ever read"

    great book with real world advice and anecdotes from someone who has lived through the hard stuff. Much better than the over simplicity of most management texts. a must read for all managers our business owners.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • FahimS
    11/16/16
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    "Must-read"

    One of the best business books I've ever read. It talks about taboos, the struggle that you rarely hear or read in biographies.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • kev
    10/4/16
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    "Kevin made Ben's story come alive"

    Ben has a wealth of honest real life sharings of struggles and strategies that make sense for any senior role. I see the CEO role as any senior leader that is accountable for P&L as well as people.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mark
    7/20/15
    Overall
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    "Pretty dull read, almost obnoxious self-promotion"
    Would you try another book written by Ben Horowitz or narrated by Kevin Kenerly?

    Was interesting and definitely written differently from most of these kinda books (lots of swearing, hip-hop references, unambiguous opinions and sometimes almost obnoxious self-promotion) which gave it some character. A few interesting lessons in there particularly on the difficulties of moving from Founder - CEO but on the whole, fairly dull. I'd give it 2 stars


    What was most disappointing about Ben Horowitz’s story?

    It was a story more than a tool


    Would you be willing to try another one of Kevin Kenerly’s performances?

    Maybe


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Hard Thing About Hard Things?

    Cut it at least in half


    Any additional comments?

    nope

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Oliver Twist
    England
    9/11/17
    Overall
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    Story
    "Average"

    Some good business advice but it's pretty much an autobiography. Basically being a CEO is hard!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gupster
    Wilts, United Kingdom
    7/18/17
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    "Didn't really tell me anything"

    I got half way through and realised that while hearing about what had happened with his company I didn't feel I was learning anything.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Richard Cassidy
    6/25/17
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    "A leadership must-read"

    It's a fantastic book for guidance if you're a CEO, but it's not limited to the top position in the c-suite. Any c-level, senior VP, director (UK), or anyone aspiring to be one of those, should read this book. And then all talk about it together! There are numerous, almost countless, high quality take-aways that will help you run your businesses.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • ShopMyStyle
    London
    6/17/17
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    "a great listen"

    I know what it's like to be alone with these decisions. great to hear that this is normal.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Omar
    6/12/17
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    "Feels like they didn't edited the book for audio"

    The book is at best average.
    There are some good tipps, but it's more like a biography.

    Also the narrator are literally reading conversation protocols, or emails. (including header, cc,...)

    Maybe it's a good read as a book, but not the best buy as an audio book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Marc
    5/25/17
    Overall
    "Great stories from real life"

    I love how everything is related back to real life experience. A good book with examples you can use even if you don't have your own company. I probably would have given it 5 stars if I was a company owner however.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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