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I'll tell you now: I did not finish this book. I was so put off by what I did read of it, I dropped it in the trash next to the bench I was sitting on in the park and went home.
So perhaps it has some redeeming features, but I'm quite happy not knowing what they are.
The book seems to be a self-congratulatory lap of honour in which the author demonstrates that he is the most non-racist, inclusivistic, non-judgmental person who has ever lived. He bludgeons us through the taxonomies of his various sets of friends, almost all of whom have some claim or other to minorityship which he just *has* to mention, whilst systematically pick-axing his prose to death with the Cultural Marxist "she" when what he means is "he" (or – if you must – "they"). It's just irritating.
I have never met this man. But I have met enough people like him to know that I don't want to hear any more of what he has to say about himself.
I'm happy for him that he manages to fire his friends *and* sleep well at night. I'm happy for him that he loves himself so much he just had to write an entire book about what a fabulous fellow he is. The problem is that I simply don't feel that anyone who is as eager as he is to cram his credentials of conventionality down my throat by endorsing every single point of what happens to be Politically Correct this week can genuinely have any balls.
Ergo, he isn't a leader.
Ergo, this isn't what it claims to be: a book about leadership.
Very interesting, very well written, a simple style, relaxed but relevant and that does not tire. For content, I personally 100% love the first part about his entrepreneurial history and the challenges he has experienced as CEO of his various companies. Then the second part, although full of common sense and very interesting, less touch me because it is addressed to the managers or CEO of large companies. Being a small business director, these chapters were less interesting. But for a manager or CEO of a startup or larger company, this book will be useful to every page.
Bitter taste from page one. These books are always written by people born under all the brightest stars. Excellent parenting, financially stable, best college education and 100 influential friends by age 25. Obviously, Obviously they are going to succed. This book's laws exists only within the one-percenter's universe. 99% of mankind cannot possibly relate or make any use of them. A dozen sentences and ideas can be extrapolated as good advice and mulled over. The rest is self indulging praise and over the top specific and unaccessible abstraction. As a business owner I found the narrative similar to giving a Bugatti owner manual to a Civic driver and tell him to use it and improve his experience of the car.
I discovered this book from reading the Economist, where it was highly recommended. Apart from the occasional swear word, Ben Horowitz delivers a crisp and refreshingly original piece on how to start a new business, drawing largely from his own experiences. Contains a lot of practical advice for budding entrepreneurs. Highly recommended.
Less a book, more a collection fo anecdotes and ways of thinking about important, specific decisions a CEO needs to make in a young company. Thoroughly good advice and a useful checklist to help you think through these kinds of decisions in a logical manner.
If you are a Founder, more likely than not, you will go through periods of deep anxiety as well as euphoria --constantly. It's a roller coaster ride. This book does what is usually not done in the Start Up world where everything is projected as awesome. It lays bare in detail just how tough building a new company is and provides some interesting insights on overcoming the difficulties. I totally related to this, it helped put a lot of things in perspective and actually helped me out when I was in my down moments