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Ben Horowitz started life as a Silicon Valley engineer with Silicone Graphics well before the internet and the .com boom.
But after joining Netscape at the beginning of the internet revolution & gaining vast experience working for Mosaic inventor & possibly the smartest person he knew, Marc Andreessen.
Ben decided to start his own technology company called Loudcloud, which was a computing cloud for developers, so they didn’t have to worry about security, scaling and disaster recover.
After years of struggle Ben realised the future was in Loudcloud’s software. He quickly split off Opsware & started a new company. Whilst selling Loudcloud to EDS just before they went bankrupt.
‘The Hard Thing About Hard Things’ centres on his time building Opsware into the leading software company in it’s sector, eventually selling to HP for $1.65 billion.
But believe me, there are many twists and turns along the way. At one point pulling off an unlikely IPO with only 6 weeks of cash left in the business.
Even at the end, just before the sale of Opsware there was a sting in the tail. Ernst & Young (their accountants of 8 years) nearly scuppered the deal through something of their own making.
If your interested in tech, Silicon Valley, the early internet days, the .com era and the realities of growing a tech organisation from nothing to a $1.65 billion sale. This is a book you must read.
Ben Horowitz pulls no punches telling you how tough it really is, this ain’t no management consultant or university professor writing about a peace time Silicon Valley organisation. It’s full on war.
‘The Hard Thing About Hard Things’ gets a thumbs up & 5 stars.
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