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While many authors of business books offer formulas for success, they fail to offer problem-solving strategies. Author Ben Horowitz, however, claims that chief executive officers (CEOs) need to know what to do when things go wrong after the company is up and running: how to "embrace the struggle." As CEO of technology company Opsware (formerly called Loudcloud) and cofounder of venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, Horowitz's struggles have involved attracting venture capitalists, raising necessary capital, avoiding impending bankruptcy, and overcoming legal technicalities that threatened to block acquisitions and sales. He also navigated crashing stock markets, falling share prices, and growing pains from rapid expansions. Horowitz calls upon his experiences to equip CEOs to accept that many challenges they face will have no good solutions and that there are no simple formulas to ensure success. Indeed, there are no guarantees except that problems will arise and answers will not come easily.
Many people assume CEOs rise to their positions because they know how to run large organizations and have the skills to manage, innovate, and lead. In fact, however, no training program exists for CEOs: they must learn on the job. Founding CEOs are often innovators with technical expertise but no managerial experience. Horowitz draws on his years as CEO not only to explain the challenges facing CEOs but also to provide tips on how to survive and thrive within the conflicts they will inevitably encounter. He lays out detailed processes for building good communications, for hiring practices, for expectations for executives, and for dealing with the psychological pressures of leading a company.
In The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers, author Ben Horowitz focuses on the common problems that inevitably arise when running a business—after its opening and setting of initial goals. Although these problems are widespread and CEOs continually face them, there is no formula for solving them. CEOs will need courage to endure the struggle and make difficult and sometimes unpopular choices.
This study guide for Ben Horowitz's The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers offers summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text. Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents and Q&A pairs.