Book Reading

The Hard Thing About Hard Things Book Review

This was a refreshing read because it is written from a different perspective than most I tend to read. Written by Ben Horowitz, it recounts some of his most difficult times and experiences when building his companies. If you like learning about the ugly truth, warts n all then you will enjoy this book.

It does a great job of portraying the struggles and sacrifices involved in running a business not just the successes you predominantly read about. This book peels back the shiny veneer that businesses want you to see and shares what it takes to keep a company afloat. Mainly how to make choices when faced with some very hard decisions.

Interesting takeaways

Things go wrong & get messy very quickly.. there are so many external factors outside of your control

It shows an interesting glimpse into how acquisitions happen in practice.

Hiring great people and building out your team - The importance of hiring for peoples strengths and not lack of weakness. How you need different types of people as your business grows.

Titles and Promotions - The benefits and risks of titles and promotions - the undesired repercussions and how they can be used as incentives.

Culture & Politics - The kind of cultures you will want to cultivate and those which you will want to avoid and how politics can kill your business very quickly.

Overcoming facing a competitor with a superior product - Often there are no silver bullets, you just need to use a LOT of lead bullets.

Hiring and firing executives - Something I don't think I would have read about elsewhere.

The role of the CEO - Whilst others reporting to the CEO specialise and are experts in their area - the CEO's main role is decision maker - the only person with all the information.

Taking care of people, products and profits in that order.

I particularly enjoyed the section on the Accountability v Creativity paradox - How do you give people enough creative freedom whilst still keeping them accountable?


I'd recommend this book just because it is almost the antithesis of the popular success story books you read these days. It serves as a window into the difficulties faced by those at the top and how they meet and deal with these struggles.

I have made sure to place this on my all time favourite books list that you should check out! 📖

-- Lee