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The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz

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Nice book written about how to be a CEO, from the perspective of a successful start up tech company who sold his company for more than a billion USD to HP. Outlines challenges that are faced and has some rap lyrics quotes at the start of each chapter for a bit of variety.

Details about who to promote, attempt to make the process transparent and establish criteria that boards and teams agree on.  Content about being a “wartime” or a “peacetime” CEO. When to sell your company, you should ideally be first in the field and have an idea of how big the potential market is prior to making this decision.  If you are not the leader in the field then sell if the offer is bigger than the market share you think you have or are aiming.

There is no perfect CEO, just the right CEO for the company at the right time. Therefore you shouldn’t judge someone by will they or will you be able to do the job in two or three years time, think about the present time. Make sure it is known that it is important to keep learning and improving.

Outlines how initially communication in a small business is easy, everyone knows how to do everything and what others are doing.  When the business grows you need more effective communication channels. Explains traps of being a CEO, in essence burnout, micromanaging, providing people with information (in response to questions) that is then relayed as gospel.

If someone comes with bad information about another colleague this is bad new.  Either you knew it already, in which case you should have intervened earlier or you didn’t think this was the case in which you may be out of touch.  It is likely the person or the messenger has a problem.

Information shared in this book does not only relate to information technology industry and it is interesting to read thinking about skills to develop to become a CEO.

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