the hard thing about hard things by ben horowitz

there is a lot of entrepreneurial empathy in this book. if you’re trying to run a company or start one – this book provides an incredible roadmap of some of the challenges you might go through.

a few of the things i really enjoyed in the book is a simple concept: as leader of an organization your responsibility is to design communication patterns. other than setting the vision and direction of the company – that may be the single most useful thing you do.

it also has some really useful, insightful and challenging questions on how to hire executive staff. it’s a challenging topic, and while there are good books out there on this topic – this resource is great insight for the technology community. there is a section of interview questions at the back that i will use in my next hire of a manager. one of the core concepts is ‘hire for strength, not lack of weakness.’ read the book for a full explanation.

i also really enjoyed the Karl Marx nod to the struggle. the quote that came shining through is “Life is Struggle” and if you balk or bend when the difficult things smash into you – you’ll fail. if you can take the difficult things, wrap your arms around them and somehow wrestle yourself behind or on top of them – you’ll find a way. finding a way is one of the themes in response to struggle that i enjoyed. anyone can make excuses for why things are not going well, but it takes a visionary leader to identify the path forward when all options seem like they take you from bad to worse. identifying a path forward and convincing your team that it’s the right way to go, and then ensuring you get there is the real hallmark of a great leader of companies.

it’s a difficult thing. in fact, it’s quite hard. but the subject of the book is not about fluffy bunnies and slobber-tongued puppies.

overall a great read and a resource i plan to come back to regularly for small tidbits and larger sections for motivation and discernment.

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