Book Review: The Hard Things About Hard Things


There are a plethora of business and management books out there. Many are written using lessons learned from successful companies dominating an industry as their primary examples. However, Horowitz discusses the ugly side of running a company and the things not usually listed in the job description. Though the book is geared towards the tech industry, the concepts are still very much applicable to any industry.

My Summary: After leaving Netscape, Horowitz became the founding CEO of Loudcloud. Most of his time spent as CEO were turbulent with many obstacles, challenges, difficult decisions, and setbacks. He refers to this as the Struggle, which must be embraced. Loudcloud struggled, and Horowitz decided to sell it but keep Opsware, a software section within the company. His decision to do so was unpopular but a bold move to “keep the ship afloat”. As the CEO of Opsware, he experienced far more moments challenging the company’s survival than moments of certainty and security. Ultimately, after eight years, he was able to sell the company for $1.65 billion dollars ($14.25 per share compared to a low of 35 cents per share). During his time as CEO, he learned many valuable lessons which he shares in the rest of the book.

My Take Home P