24 Motivational Ben Horowitz Quotes on Success

Birth: 13 June 1966, London, United Kingdom

Short Biography


Author of the book "The Hard Thing About Hard Things", and also an american businessman, investor and blogger Benjamin Horowitz, was born in London in 1966. He studied computer science at Columbia University. Throughout his career he worked in information and technology companies. Cloud computing firm Opsware, of which he co-founded and managed as CEO, was acquired by Hewlett-Packard in 2007. In addition, the author is one of the founders of venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.

Quotes by Ben Horowitz


“An early lesson I learned in my career was that whenever a large organization attempts to do anything, it always comes down to a single person who can delay the entire project.” /Ben Horowitz
“The purpose of process is communication. If there are five people in your company, you don’t need process, because you can just talk to each other.” /Ben Horowitz
“The Struggle is when you wonder why you started the company in the first place. The Struggle is when people ask you why you don’t quit and you don’t know the answer. The Struggle is when your employees think you are lying and you think they may be right. The Struggle is when food loses its taste.” /Ben Horowitz
“As a technology startup, from the day you start until your last breath, you will be in a furious race against time. No technology startup has a long shelf life. Even the best ideas become terrible ideas after a certain age.” /Ben Horowitz
“Ironically, the biggest obstacle to putting a training program in place is the perception that it will take too much time. Keep in mind that there is no investment that you can make that will do more to improve productivity in your company. Therefore, being too busy to train is the moral equivalent of being too hungry to eat. Furthermore, it’s not that hard to create basic training courses.” /Ben Horowitz
“In any human interaction, the required amount of communication is inversely proportional to the level of trust.” /Ben Horowitz
“No matter who you are, you need two kinds of friends in your life. The first kind is one you can call when something good happens, and you need someone who will be excited for you. Not a fake excitement veiling envy, but a real excitement. You need someone who will actually be more excited for you than he would be if it had happened to him. The second kind of friend is somebody you can call when things go horribly wrong—when your life is on the line and you only have one phone call.” /Ben Horowitz
“There’s a saying in the military that if you see something below standard and do nothing, then you’ve set a new standard.” /Ben Horowitz
“People always ask me, “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.” /Ben Horowitz
“Culture is not like a mission statement; you can’t just set it up and have it last forever. There’s a saying in the military that if you see something below standard and do nothing, then you’ve set a new standard. This is also true of culture—if you see something off-culture and ignore it, you’ve created a new culture.” /Ben Horowitz
“I’d learned the hard way that when hiring executives, one should follow Colin Powell’s instructions and hire for strength rather than lack of weakness.” /Ben Horowitz
“No matter who you are, you need two kinds of friends in your life. The first kind is one you can call when something good happens, and you need someone who will be excited for you. Not a fake excitement veiling envy, but a real excitement. You need someone who will actually be more excited for you than he would be if it had happened to him. The second kind of friend is somebody you can call when things go horribly wrong—when your life is on the line and you only have one phone call. Who is it going to be? Bill Campbell is both of those friends.” /Ben Horowitz
“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.” /Ben Horowitz
“Every time I read a management or self-help book, I find myself saying, “That’s fine, but that wasn’t really the hard thing about the situation.” The hard thing isn’t setting a big, hairy, audacious goal. The hard thing is laying people off when you miss the big goal. The hard thing isn’t hiring great people. The hard thing is when those “great people” develop a sense of entitlement and start demanding unreasonable things. The hard thing isn’t setting up an organizational chart. The hard thing is getting people to communicate within the organization that you just designed. The hard thing isn’t dreaming big. The hard thing is waking up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat when the dream turns into a nightmare.” /Ben Horowitz
“Life is struggle.” I believe that within that quote lies the most important lesson in entrepreneurship: Embrace the struggle.” /Ben Horowitz
“TAKE CARE OF THE PEOPLE, THE PRODUCTS, AND THE PROFITS—IN THAT ORDER” /Ben Horowitz
“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.” /Ben Horowitz
“Great CEO's face the pain. They deal with the sleepless nights, the cold sweats, and what my friend the great Alfred Chuang (legendary co-founder and CEO of BEA Systems) calls “the torture.” Whenever I meet a successful CEO, I ask them how they did it. Mediocre CEO's point to their brilliant strategic moves or their intuitive business sense or a variety of other self-congratulatory explanations. The great CEO's tend to be remarkably consistent in their answers. They all say, “I didn’t quit.” /Ben Horowitz
“Sometimes an organization doesn’t need a solution; it just needs clarity.” /Ben Horowitz
“We have a very high churn rate, but as soon as we turn on email marketing to our user base, people will come back.” Yes, of course. The reason that people leave our service and don’t come back is that we have not been sending them enough spam. That makes total sense to me, too.” /Ben Horowitz

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