Reviews of: The Hard Thing About Hard Things (2014 book)  

Two Stars…

Don’t read/buy the book if you are already familiar with Ben Horowitz’s blog and ideas. The book adds nothing new.

Why Buy It?

Its cool to have this item on your shelf. He’s a famous guy in the startup world, the book is neat and collects all his major posts Ben’s Blog.

Why Not Buy It?

IMHO, there is absolutely nothing new in terms of content relative to his blog. So there is absolutely NO reason for you to pay 10 bucks (kindle edition) to re-read his best stuff; afterall, he himself chose to publish it all for free.

The biograpical part, where he could have definitely added a bunch of new stuff/perspectives to people who admire him, is very short and tells very little about the stories of the companies where Ben has worked: few events are narrated in detail.

If you are interested in what is useful about Ben`s insights on management, read the posts below - they were basically reproduced to the letter on the book - in 10 minutes:

  1. Programming Your Culture
  2. Old People
  3. One on One
  4. Demoting A Loyal Friend
  5. A Good Place to Work
  6. The Freaky Friday Management Technique
  7. Management Debt
  8. Preparing To Fire an Executive
  9. When Employees Misinterpret Managers
  10. Peacetime CEO/Wartime CEO
  11. Titles and Promotions

Apart from that, I found the tone a bit off, as in…

“people sometimes regard me as a management guru”

…or something. Pointless and not worth it.

PS: My grading, of two stars, reviews the BOOK, the merit of him publishing a book on top of his public, free blog. I would rate his ideas 4-star, and his hip-hop lyric-quoting 5-star.


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