In all the difficult decisions that I made through the course of running Loudcloud and Opsware, I never once felt brave. In fact, I often felt scared to death. I never lost those feelings, but after much practice, I learned to ignore them. That learning process might also be called the courage development process.— Ben Horowitz
The most craziest Ben Horowitz quotes to get the best of your day
You know what the difference between a vision and a hallucination is? They call it a vision when other people can see it.
Every time you make the hard, correct decision you become a bit more courageous, and every time you make the easy, wrong decision you become a bit more cowardly. If you are CEO, these choices will lead to a courageous or cowardly company.
In my experience as CEO, I found that the most important decisions tested my courage far more than my intelligence.
Hire sales people who are really smart problem solvers, but lack courage, hunger and competitiveness, and your company will go out of business.
Billionaires prefer Black women. They are loyal and guard your interests. Black wives are for grown ups.
When you're making a critical decision, you have to understand how it's going to be interpreted from all points of view. Not just your point of view, not just the person you're talking to, but the people that aren't in the room. Everybody else.
When I was CEO, and I'd listen to music, a lot of people listen to music and you get inspiration from it. And a lot of things in hip hop are very instructive for being in business. Particularly, hip hop is a lot about business, and so it was very useful for me in any job.
There are no shortcuts to knowledge, especially knowledge gained from personal experience. Following conventional wisdom and relying on shortcuts can be worse than knowing nothing at all.
There are no silver bullets.
Note to self: It’s a good idea to ask, “What am I not doing?
Groupon looked like a very high valuation, but any investment in a great company at any stage is almost always a good investment.
One of the great things about building a tech company is the amazing people that you can hire.
A key thing in being a leader is you’ve got to pause yourself.
Nothing motivates a great employee more than a mission that's so important that it supersedes everyone's personal ambition.
Over the last ten years, technological advances have dramatically lowered the financial bar for starting a new company, but the courage bar for building a great company remains as high as it has ever been.
The thing that's confusing for investors is that founders don't know how to be CEO. I didn't know how to do the job when I was a CEO. Founder CEOs don't know how to be CEOs, but it doesn't mean they can't learn. The question is... can the founder learn that job and can they tolerate all mistakes they will make doing it?
Your employees know each other better than they know you.
The most important thing you can learn as CEO- one of the hardest things to do is, you have to discipline yourself to see your company... through the eyes of the people that you're working through. Through the eyes of the employees, through the eyes of your partners... through the eyes of the people who you're not talking to and who are not in the room.
Relationships built from a business do better than the reverse.
Yeah, I became a successful entrepreneur... Eventually
Planning is valuable, tho the plan is usually useless.
The person they're working with, is going to be the person they'll know more.
So if that person leaves, they're going to go - well, should have I left too? What did they get and how does that compare to my deal.
There is no silver bullet. There are always options and the options have consequences.
I don’t believe in statistics. I believe in calculus.
Leadership is hard to train on.
Don't punk out and don't quit.
Wartime CEO is too busy fighting the enemy to read management books written by consultants who have never managed a fruit stand.
In a company, hundreds of decisions get made, but objectives and goals are thin.
The bigger you get, the harder this gets because the more aggressive the people working for you are.
Breakthrough ideas usually come from guys who look like they're hallucinating
Sometimes an organization doesn’t need a solution; it just needs clarity.
It's hard in daily life. It's even harder in management because it's the stress of the moment.
You're better off being The Beatles than The Monkees, as a startup.
Generally the reason they fail in the job is, you made some mistake in the hiring process in that you didn't match... them to the needs of your company accurately enough. That's the #1 reason this fails. And that's generally a good place to start: Here's where we are and here's what I didn't recognize about us and about you when I made the decision, and now it is what it is.
In Silicon Valley, when you're a private company, the entrepreneur can do no wrong.
For example, the vast majority of security break-ins occur as a result of problems with known fixes. With an automated system, you can keep up to date.
As a startup CEO, I slept like a baby. I woke up every 2 hours and cried.
Startup CEOs should not play the odds.
When you are building a company, you must believe there is an answer and you cannot pay attention to your odds of finding it. You just have to find it. It matters not whether your chances are nine in ten or one in a thousand; your task is the same.
When raising money, you want to look through the lens of 'What happens when things go wrong?'
How do you make your company a good place to work in general? That's a really really really large and complex set of skills. A lot of it is on the job training, combined with excellent mentorship.
If you have never done the job, how do you know what to want?
What do you get when you cross a herd of sheep with a herd of lemmings? A herd of venture capitalists.
A CEO needs great intelligence and great courage. And I always found my courage was tested more.
It's quite possible for an executive to hit her goal for the quarter by ignoring the future.
I think theres a lot to be said about just enjoying your work.
It can be very contrived when people say their work is for the good of mankind.
As a company grows, communication becomes its biggest challenge.
The right thing to do is to thank them for their work, let people know that they're moving on, and ... you don't really have to explain all their personal details. It's more important to leave them with their dignity... and let them go on to live another day. Remember, what you say at that meeting, that's their reputation.
As companies move to web-based computing they get a lot more servers, which are difficult to manage and control. All kinds of problems can arise - security, quality and worms.
It turns out that is exactly what product strategy is all about—figuring out the right product is the innovator’s job, not the customer’s job.