Often books of this nature start each chapter with quotations from the ancient sage or wise philosophers, but this one, each chapter starts with quotes from rap songs and artists such Nas, and Jay-Z. I just knew from this that this book is going to be an interesting ride.

There are no easy ways or answers when building or running a business/company.

Building a business is hard, building a tech startup is even harder.

This is not a feel-good book about entrepreneurship. Here Ben breaks down the realities and hardships of startups and company culture.

You can tell when a book has been written by someone that was already “done that, been there” and this book is totally that. It provides insight into how things work in the real world.

The book addresses a lot of the “oh crap” moments that every entrepreneur and leader deals with… the book takes the CEO imposter syndrome head on.

You walk away with a sense of community, a sense of sanity and a sense of purpose. You will learn to cope and take the pragmatic steps necessary to see the mission through.

Rating:

8/10

Reading this book for the second time and there are new insights I always pick. The book makes a lot sense, and covers a lot of new ground [especially CEO psychology and emotions] and is a quick read.

Except some profanity at the beginning, it is worth reading.

If you are planning to start a company, whether it is a high-tech company or any kinds, read this book. If you are going to be someone in charge of anything in any kind of a company, read this book.

Ben touches on all complex issues that you are likely to encounter when starting and building a the book made a lot sense, seemed to cover new ground [especially CEO psychology and emotions] and was a quick read.

Every entrepreneur needs to understand that most times, the right thing is the hardest thing and that makes ‘The Hard Thing About Hard Things’ a must read.

Favourite Quotes:

  • “The most important lesson in entrepreneurship: Embrace the struggle.”
  • “Hard things are hard because there are no easy answers or recipes. They are hard because your emotions are at odds with your logic. They are hard because you don’t know the answer and you cannot ask for help without showing weakness.”
  • “Over the past decades, technological advances have dramatically lowered the financial bar for starting a company, but the courage bar remains as high as it has ever been.”
  • “Focus on the road, not the wall.”
  • “I don’t believe in statistics. I believe in calculus.”
  • “No matter who you are, you need two kinds of friends in your life. The first kind is one you can call when something good happens, and you need someone who will be excited for you. Not a fake excitement veiling envy, but a real excitement. You need someone who will actually be more excited for you than he would be if it had happened to him. The second kind of friend is somebody you can call when things go horribly wrong, when your life is on the line and you only have one phone call.”
  • “A well managed company fails without product/market fit. Many horribly managed companies with product/market fit succeed. A good company and culture doesn’t matter when things go well, but it can be the difference between life and death when things go wrong. Things always go wrong.”
  • “Take care of the people, the products, and the profits – in that order.”
  • “In any human interaction, the required amount of communication is inversely proportional to the level of trust.”
  • “I had to stop being a boy and become a man… I had to consider the people who I cared about most before considering myself.”
  • “Ironically, the key to an emotional discussion is to take the emotion out of it.”
  • “Some employees make products, some make sales; the CEO makes decisions. Therefore, a CEO can most accurately be measured by the speed and quality of those decisions.”

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