Week 3 Reflection Book Review

The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz

The book continues with Ben getting hired by Netscape. You get a good feel of Ben’s relationship with his boss Marc Andreesen. He admits that they do not see eye to eye, but in the end it works.

Netscape sells to America Online(AOL). They invented JavaScript, SSL, and cookies. After the buyout, he was assigned to run the e-commerce platform and Marc became Chief Technology Officer. They worked through problems and experienced crashes. In 1999, they incorporated a company called LoudCloud and began raising money. Marc Andreesen would end up being the full time chairman of the board and Ben would be the CEO. The company grew at an alarming pace, but less than a year later they experienced the dot.com crash. This crash spooked their investors. The money was getting seriously low so they were faced with going public to stay alive. The IPO(initial public offering) did not bring in the the revenue they had hoped for and as time goes on their stock drops from $6 to $2. The company ends up selling LoudCloud to EDS in 2002. They retain their intellectual software property and become Opsware.

Ben receives some very important advice from another CEO, Bill Campbell. Don’t celebrate the sell, let your people know where they stand so that you will be trusted. After the sale, the stock dropped to 35 cents per share.

Ben interjects the words to a song “On To The Next One” by Jay Z. ” I move onward, the only direction Can’t be scared to fail in search of Perfection.”

He takes the 80 employees left with the company to a meeting at a motel for a night of drinking and explaining the Opsware opportunity. Seventy Eight remained with the company. After the restructure, stock rose from 35 cents to $7. Ben thought they were out of the woods. But were they???

This books continues with the theme do not give up. Whether we are coming up with an idea or running a company, it is important to continue with the quest of success.

4 thoughts on “Week 3 Reflection Book Review

  1. Hi Tina, I like the theme of “never give up.” Just when you think you worked hard enough for something that is difficult to obtain, you probably need to work harder might be another way of looking at things. I have heard his name before, but I do not know much about his story. It sounds like many of his life lessons could be transferrable to an entrepreneur. I am looking forward to hearing more about Mr. Horowitz’s life.
    Best regards,
    Mike Weimar

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tina,
    Entrepreneurs don’t think about what Ben experienced with the company crashing and had to go public in order to survive in the market. There are times in which we are faced with extremely difficult decisions and must decide which is best for the company even if we don’t want to go public we may have to in order for the company to still succeed later on down the road. This particular book seems to be an eye opener as to what situations we need to be prepared for as entrepreneurs. Ben seems to have a strong passion for the company and the willingness to continue on regardless of the situation at hand. Great post!


    1. Having been in business for myself for 20 years, I have had to make some hard decisions. He definitely has a passion for the company and was faced with extremely hard decisions. I am amazed of the hours that he put in to save this company. He was actually on the road promoting his company while is wife was very sick at home. Thank you for your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I enjoyed reading your post! It is crazy how the company grew and then crashed a mere year later. That is amazing that most of the employees stayed with the company after the company crashed and stocks fell to just thirty-five cents per share. That must have been an inspirational conversation regarding Opsware! I am looking forward to reading your upcoming posts!

    Liked by 1 person

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