21 Quotes from Ben Horowitz on How to Manage

From How to Start a Startup — Lecture 15

Nov 12, 2014 · 3 min read

From Stanford’s CS183B Course How to Start a Startup — Lecture 15

The quotes below are all 140 characters or less, so please feel free to share as you see fit. In case I’ve missed any quotes or you find any errors, please leave me a comment and I will be sure to update the post.

  1. 1/“When you’re making a critical decision, you have to understand how it’s going to be interpreted from all points of view.”
  2. 2/“Not just your point of view, not just the person you’re talking to, but the people that aren’t in the room. Everybody else.”
  3. “The right answer on raises is you have to be formal. You have to be formal to save your own culture.”
  4. On employees asking for raises — “The bigger you get, the harder this gets because the more aggressive the people working for you are.”
  5. “Your employees know each other better than they know you.”
  6. 1/“The person they’re working with, is going to be the person they’ll know more. So if that person leaves, they’re going to go- “
  7. 2/”well, should have I left too? What did they get and how does that compare to my deal.”
  8. “Volatility and length, that’s the value on an option. 10 years on a startup stock, that’s a big valuable thing.”
  9. 1/“The most important thing you can learn as CEO- one of the hardest things to do is, you have to discipline yourself to see your company…”
  10. 2/“through the eyes of the people that you’re working through. Through the eyes of the employees, through the eyes of your partners…”
  11. 3/“…through the eyes of the people who you’re not talking to and who are not in the room.”
  12. 1/On how to fire — “Generally the reason they fail in the job is, you made some mistake in the hiring process in that you didn’t match…”
  13. 2/“…them to the needs of your company accurately enough. That’s the #1 reason this fails. And that’s generally a good place to start: “
  14. 3/“Here’s where we are and here’s what I didn’t recognize about us and about you when I made the decision, and now it is what it is.”
  15. “You can take somebody’s job, you have to take their job, but you don’t have to take their dignity.”
  16. 1/ On dealing with firing — “The right thing to do is to thank them for their work, let people know that they’re moving on, and …”
  17. 2/ “…you don’t really have to explain all their personal details. It’s more important to leave them with their dignity…”
  18. 3/“…and let them go on to live another day.” Remember, what you say at that meeting, that’s their reputation.”
  19. “The one thing with stress is, you’ve got to keep your focus on what you can do, not what happened to you.”
  20. On putting yourself in other people’s shoes-“It’s hard in daily life. It’s even harder in management because it’s the stress of the moment.”
  21. “A key thing in being a leader is you’ve got to pause yourself.”

This lecture was slightly different from the other lectures, where Ben Horowitz effectively focussed on just 1 lesson throughout his talk. He did however provide a great example of exemplary leadership, by sharing Touissaint L’Ouverture story of overcome slavery and his unique approach to dealing with his enemies. You can watch the entire lecture for yourself here: http://startupclass.samaltman.com/courses/lec15/

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Image Credit: Ben Horowitz — By JD Lasica

How to Start a Startup

A collection of Quotes from Each Lecture

    Rajen Sanghvi

    Written by

    Founder & Sales Builder @ www.salestraction.io | The future of sales is authentic, transparent and intelligent. Btw it’s already here.

    How to Start a Startup

    A collection of Quotes from Each Lecture