Tim Ferriss Show: Ben Horowitz Podcast Notes

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ABOUT BEN HOROWITZ

Ben Horowitz (@bhorowitz) is an American Businessman, Investor, and Author best known as the Co-Founder of Opsware, an enterprise software company sold to Hewlett-Packard in 2007, and the Co-Founder of the private venture capital firm, Andreessen Horowitz which he founded along with Marc Andreessen.

Ben is an accomplished writer and is the author of two books – The Hard Thing About Hard Things and What You Do Is Who You Are.

He was the guest on The Tim Ferriss Show Episode 392 where he discussed entrepreneurship lessons, thoughts on management and leadership, culture, and books.

Here are our takeaways from the conversation.

BEN HOROWITZ QUOTES

  • “If you make decisions that everybody likes all the time, those are the decisions they would have made without you.”
  • “If you talk it and don’t do it, then your culture becomes your hypocrisy.”

OTHER QUOTES

  • “All I have in this world is time, and you’re wasting my time.” – Andy Grove (Former CEO, Intel)
  • “If you think you’re enlightened, go spend a day with your family.” – Ram Dass

DISCUSSION ON ANDY GROVE

  • Andy Grove was a Hungarian refugee who came to the United States after World War II
  • He taught himself English, went to the City College of New York, and finished his Ph.D. in two and a half years
  • He joined Intel as the 3rd employee after founders, Bob Noyce and Gordon Moore
  • He wrote the book High Output Management for teaching management and running a company
  • Ben Horowitz got the chance to write the foreword for the re-release of High Output Management

LEADERSHIP VS MANAGEMENT

  • According to Ben Horowitz, Leadership is knowing what to do and getting people to follow you
  • Management involves getting people to do what you know
  • Leadership is more on the creative side
  • Management requires discipline and systematization

ON BILL CAMPBELL

  • According to Ben Horowitz, Bill Campbell was very helpful as a coach to talk to and get along with
  • Bill had the ability to see the company through the eyes of every single employee
  • When Opsware, formerly Loudcloud, was about to sell a part of its business to Electronic Data Systems, Bill recommended Ben to talk to the employees about the deal as soon as the news was announced, to let the employees know where they stand. Bill really understood people and cared about their individual goals as much as the company’s goals.
  • The only other person who Ben feels has the ability to understand people’s feelings in a very short time is Oprah Winfrey

Check Out – Oprah Winfrey Quotes

BOOKS RECOMMENDED TO FIRST-TIME FOUNDERS

BEN HOROWITZ ON FORMULAS FOR WORK

  • Always focus on what you can do and not worry too much about the things outside your control
  • Have somebody whom you can trust to speak about what you’re going through
  • Sharpen the contradictions because that’s where the information and truth is

WHAT YOU DO IS WHO YOU ARE

  • What You Do Is Who You Are book is about culture and culture is not about what you believe or your values, it is what you actually do
  • The culture of the Samurai is one of the greatest, longest-lasting cultures in history that lasted over a thousand years
  • Bushido says that culture is not a set of beliefs but a set of actions
  • If you talk it and don’t do it, then your culture becomes your hypocrisy

ON TOUSSAINT LOUVERTURE

  • Toussaint Louverture was the Haitian Military General and Leader during the Haitian Revolution
  • He was born a slave but was smart and learned to read and understood the French colonial culture, Roman military culture, and Slave culture that gave him good insights
  • He elevated the ethics among the slaves and outlawed raping and pillaging
  • Under his leadership of self-liberated slaves, Haiti got independence from colonial rule
  • He was born as Toussaint because slaves only have their first names, as part of the dehumanization process. His second name, as the legend says, came because he always found some way to escape even while Napolean’s French Army cornered him and hence the name Toussaint Louverture meaning Toussaint “The Opening”.

BEN HOROWITZ’S BILLBOARD

I know you think I’m rich because of my diamond piece but I’ve been rich since I started finding peace.

BOOKS MENTIONED

PEOPLE MENTIONED

  • Andy Grove
  • Bob Noyce
  • Gordon Moore
  • Confucius
  • Colin Powell
  • Bill Campbell
  • Eric Schmidt
  • Jeff Bezos
  • Steve Jobs
  • Oprah Winfrey
  • Mark Zuckerberg
  • C.L.R. James
  • Toussaint L’Ouverture
  • Eric Ries
  • Karl Marx
  • Vladimir Lenin
  • Shaka Senghor
  • Napoleon Bonaparte
  • Julius Caesar
  • Ram Dass
  • Reed Hastings
  • Genghis Khan
  • Nas

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