The Hard Thing About Hard Things

David Cummings on Startups

Recently I read Ben Horowitz’s book The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers. I enjoy entrepreneurial success story books that are full of anecdotes, and this one is good. Most of the book is CEO/founder advice with 80% of it being solid and 20% not so valuable.

Ben’s story of Loudcloud/Opsware is one of the more unusual ones I’ve ever encountered. After starting a cloud computing company in the dot come heyday and going public, he decided he didn’t want to be in the hosting business and pivoted. Pivoting is hard enough when it’s just a couple entrepreneurs and an idea — imagine having the pressures of Wall Street and still moving forward with getting rid of your main business and becoming a software company. The bold move paid off and a few years later they ended up selling the business for $1.6 billion…

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