The Hard Thing About Hard Things — Ben Horowitz — Summary and review

CEO lessons

Take care of People, Products and Profits (in that order)

  1. Your career grows as the company grows, attractive jobs naturally open up
  2. You’ll be impressing your friends and family. Your friends and family will think you a genius for choosing to work at the “it” company
  3. Your résumé gets stronger by working at a blue-chip company in its heyday.
  4. Oh, and you are getting rich.
  1. Hire for strength rather than lack of weakness
  2. Have clear expectations of who you are hiring with a realization that there is something seriously wrong with every employee in your company (including you). Nobody is perfect.
  3. Involve multiple people in brainstorming but make the final decision solo. Consensus-based decisions tend to sway the process away from strength and towards weakness.
  1. Hire for the right kind of ambition. they must believe in the company and want it to be successful (and thus themselves as a by-product) and not for themselves to be a success first
  2. Maintain strict policies and processes on organizational design, performance evaluations, promotions, and compensation. Importantly — Don’t overcompensate an employee because they get a better job offer.
  3. Promote experienced employees by measuring results against objectives, management skills, innovation, and their ability to work well with others.
  4. Keep up regular performance management and employee feedback with a good system of one on one meetings between the employees and managers. These are an essential platform for employees to discuss their unheard brilliant ideas, pressing issues, and chronic frustrations.





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