Borrowing a page from any Hip-Hop enthusiast’s Top 10 Favorite rapper list - Below are my Top 10 jewels from Ben Horowtiz’ book.
Key: Chapter - Excerpt
When Things Fall Apart – What’s the secret to being a “successful” CEO?” Sadly, there is no secret, but if there is one skill that stands out, it’s the ability to focus and make the best move when there are no good moves.
CEO’s Should Tell It Like It Is - As a corollary, beware of management maxims that stop information from flowing freely in your company. For example, consider the old management standard: “Don’t bring me a problem without bringing me a solution.” What if the employee cannot solve an important problem?
Lies The Losers Tell - When a company starts to lose its major battles, the truth often becomes the first casualty. CEO’s and employees work tirelessly to develop creative narratives that help them avoid dealing with the obvious facts. Despite their intense creativity, many companies often end up with the same false explanations.
Demoting a Friend - Acknowledge the contributions. If you want him to stay in the company, you should say that and make it crystal clear that you want to help him develop his career and contribute to the company. Let him know that you appreciate what he’s done and that your decision results from a forward-looking examination of what the company needs, not a review of his past performance. The best way to do this, if appropriate, is to couple the demotion with an increase in compensation. Doing so will let him know that he’s both appreciated and valued going forward.
Lead Bullets - There comes a time in every company’s life where it must fight for its life. If you find yourself running when you should be fighting, you need to ask yourself, “If our company isn’t good enough to win, then do we need to exist at all?”
Nobody Cares (i) - Spend zero time on what you could have done, and devote all of your time on what you might do. Because in the end, nobody cares: just run your company. Take care of the People, the Products, and the Profits – in that order!
Nobody Cares (ii) - Most workplaces are far from good. As organizations grow large, important work can go unnoticed, the hardest workers can get passed over by the best politicians, and bureaucratic processes can choke out the creativity…
How to Minimize Politics in Your Company - Hire people with the right kind of ambition,….., the surest way to turn your company into the political equivalent of the U.S Senate is to hire people with the wrong kind of ambition. As defined by Andy Grove, the right kind of ambition is ambition for the company’s success with the executive’s own success only coming as a by-product of the company’s victory.
Programming Your Culture - The primary thing that any technology startup must do is build a product that’s at least ten times better at doing something than the current prevailing way of doing that thing. Two or three times better will not be good enough to get people to switch to the new thing fast enough or large enough volume to matter.
The Fine Line Between Fear and Courage - People who watch you judge you on what you do, not how you feel.